Mayor Miro Weinberger's Statement Regarding Governor’s Supplemental Recommended Budget Adjustment and Motel Program Wind Down

116 households from the cohort remain in motel program in Chittenden County while 185 households have been connected to permanent housing since June 1, Unsheltered homelessness has increased 500% since the exiting of 800 Vermonters from motels

Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger, released a statement responding to the Governor’s initial proposed FY24 budget adjustment requesting $4 million for the creation temporary shelter for a period of three months, and proposing to exit all remaining Vermonters in the motel program on April 1. Sarah Russell, Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington, provided the attached memo in her testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations at 1 pm, on behalf of Mayor Weinberger and the City of Burlington.

The Mayor made the following statement:

“When the Governor proposed evicting everyone in the pandemic motel program last May, we said no. Burlington and all of our partner organizations instead proposed to permanently house everyone in the cohort through our Coordinated Entry system – and our plan is working. In six months, we have housed more than half of these vulnerable households, and we can help the remaining 116 in Chittenden County within the next six months. Our approach is both more humane and more cost-effective than creating temporary shelters, or worse, turning everyone out onto the street with nowhere to go. We have a plan to house these Vermonters quickly and affordably, and the legislature should fund it.

This plan, however, will do nothing to address the record level of unsheltered homelessness we currently are experiencing in the wake of the Governor’s decision to exit 800 people from the shelter last June. We need the state to fund and create new shelter now for the hundreds of Vermonters sleeping outside, and for the downtowns around the state that are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the State’s failed motel exit plan.”



Memo from the Mayor to DCF Commissioner Winters

Testimony on Act 81 Implementation by Sarah Russell, Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington 

Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office