Vermont Legal Aid has been fighting to broaden eligibility under the emergency housing program for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness.
Residents and the task force went back and forth about whether the city should track people camping in designated spaces.
A return to regular tourism, together with new capacity limits in several towns, complicates hotel placements for people who still qualify.
Some have found housing. Some are using a $2,500 state grant to extend their hotel stays. Others have no idea where they’re going. Some plan to camp out.
An order signed by a state judge Wednesday will give residents experiencing homelessness an additional 14 days to prove that they have a disability before they have to leave hotels and motels.
The policy: Non-interference for people sleeping around the city.
As of July 1, about 700 people will no longer be eligible for the motel rooms that have been available since the start of the pandemic.
“Not only is it the morally right thing to do, but it is also the economically right thing to do,” the Vermont Interfaith Action coalition of nearly 70 spiritual congregations wrote in a new report.
About 125 people without homes may become displaced in Chittenden County when the hotel ends a partnership with the state government at the end of June.
“The bottom line is, I’m sorry, people should not be thrown out on the street,” said Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington.