New Burlington apartments to provide shelter for families experiencing homelessness

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:09 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - As the city of Burlington works towards its three-year goal to end homelessness, officials broke ground Friday on a new COTS facility to help achieve that goal.

The Main Street Family Housing is being constructed on existing COTS property next to their Main Street Family Shelter. “Sixteen subsidized apartments that will provide hope, that will provide stability and dignity to families who are facing the crisis of homelessness. Sixteen apartments where dreams will be dreamt and pursued. And because those families can move with their housing subsidy, those dreams may be followed anywhere they lead,” said Jonathan Farrell with COTS.

The organization has been a community leader by operating shelters for families and individuals. Now, these energy-efficient units in the heart of the city will be near other essential services including transportation and schools.

“For three decades COTS has been a key partner to the city in making homelessness in our community rare and brief. We have a lot of work to do in that area right now -- more so than ever -- and we are so grateful for COTS’ ongoing partnership,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger.

COTS says the goal is to provide stable housing to families so they can reverse the cycle of homelessness and live in a supportive environment. But, 16 units won’t solve the problem. Affordable housing experts say the state also needs to fix regulations to make it easier to build affordable housing

“For all people to thrive -- you and me -- the people standing here, the people living in this community who have homes. We have to demand a better system that addresses these inequalities and we need to fight for more housing,” said Nancy Owens, with Evernorth, a partner in the project.

The building is expected to costs more than $8M and funding comes from a mix of public and private sources.