Mayor Weinberger Statement in Support of Legislative Intervention Over Motel Program Sunset

Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Weinberger released the following statement regarding potential legislative action during the Legislature’s June Veto Session:  

“The rushed and mismanaged conclusion of the state-run motel program has put many vulnerable people on the street and exacerbated the already serious challenges facing Burlington and other communities in meeting the needs of homeless community members. With the second-highest rate of homelessness in the nation, Vermont’s shelter and service systems are predictably overwhelmed by the sudden expulsion of hundreds of new people, leaving many to suffer without support. 

We are headed towards even greater disaster this July if the State chooses to stay the course chosen by the Governor and evict hundreds more vulnerable households, including young children, disabled, and elderly Vermonters, with no plan to shelter or house them. With just over a month until these evictions happen, the Scott Administration has so far been unable to demonstrate any reasonable strategy to address this crisis of their own making.  

In the absence of clear leadership from the State, Burlington and other ground-level organizations across Vermont have responded – here in Chittenden County the City along with 27 partnered organizations and municipalities in the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance have proposed and committed to a focused and coordinated effort to house all of the 165 vulnerable households remaining in motels in our region in a deliberate and humane way. Our plan is achievable and affordable within the Legislature’s budget – but it will take time to implement as well as a commitment from the State to work in partnership with our community. 

I am relieved that legislative leadership has now come forward with a new path for Vermont that supports the regional plan we announced earlier this month by explicitly elevating “coordinated entry” as a key strategy for ending this crisis and prescribing a high level of legislative oversight to ensure that its implementation by the Scott Administration includes proper coordination with local agencies going forward. As the Legislature convenes today for its Veto Session, I urge the House and Senate to pass this bill and the Governor to sign it so that we can move forward with focus and collaboration.  



City of Burlington, Letter of Interest  

Chittenden County Homeless Alliance, Letter of Interest  

Vermont Department of Children and Family Services, Letter RE: Interest in Resources and Support for 2023 Homeless Response Efforts  

Households Experiencing Homelessness in Chittenden County, Data Spring 2023 

Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office