Mayor Weinberger Responds to Changes in State Motel Program Transition

Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Weinberger made the following statement: 

“I support an orderly end to the troubled pandemic-era motel program and Burlington is working in partnership with the State and our regional partners to quickly create new shelter opportunities – in addition to the two low-barrier emergency shelters Burlington has opened since late 2020 – to bring new homeless dedicated housing units online, and to expand services to meet the basic needs of the close to 200 adults in Chittenden County who will exit the program in June. However, for the State to, later this summer, turn out elderly Vermonters, people living with disabilities, and worst of all, young children and their families, to live in tents or in congregate shelters for months would be unacceptable. With a little bit of planning and time, this outcome is completely avoidable.  

The announcement by the Governor today to allow vulnerable populations a 28-day extension in the motel program was both welcome and surprising, as this is not what we have heard in meetings with State officials as recently as earlier this week. However, this doesn’t go far enough. Emergency congregate shelters are no place to raise a young family. Burlington is preparing a regional, multi-agency proposal to transition these families from the temporary shelter offered by the motel program directly into housing and will be submitting it to the Agency of Human Services next week in response to the RFP process launched on May 22.” 


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office