Graffiti is seen on a garage door at the home of Rep. Martin LaLonde, D-South Burlington, on Friday, June 2. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

A Vermont state representative’s home was vandalized with paint soon after hundreds of people were required to move out of motels on Thursday.

“Isn’t it nice to have a home” was written in red capital letters on the garage door of Democrat Martin LaLonde’s house in South Burlington, according to Police Chief Shawn Burke.

LaLonde reported the graffiti around 9 a.m. on Friday, Burke said, and police are investigating. The letters could be seen through an apparent fresh coat of white paint later in the morning.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate declined to extend a pandemic-era program that used federal cash, which has since run dry, to expand the number of unhoused people who could stay in the state’s hotels and motels. 

The program’s end — and the waves of evictions anticipated this summer, starting with some 800 people on Thursday — has divided Democrats, with some in the party’s left wing calling for more funding to stave off a predicted surge in homelessness. Advocates and service providers have also decried the decision, noting that shelters are already full, leaving those exiting the motels with limited options. A total of about 2,800 are expected to leave motels in the coming months. 

South Burlington police officers conducted a canvass of the neighborhood searching for “ambient video,” Burke said, which would be reviewed for further leads.

LaLonde did not respond to messages sent by phone and email on Friday.

Correction: An earlier version of the photo caption gave an incorrect date.