The Champlain Housing Trust announced today it had exceeded a benchmark set by Governor Shumlin to house more people who are without a home. In April, 2016 the Governor signed an Executive Order which “calls for owners of housing that receive state funds to make available at least 15 percent of their portfolio of housing units to Vermonters experiencing homelessness.” The Housing Trust identified 16 percent of the residents of its rental portfolio fitting the criteria under the Order.
“While we have made tremendous strides over the last few years resulting in a 28% decline in homelessness in Vermont, there still are over 1,100 Vermonters who are homeless,” said Michael Monte, COO/CFO of the Champlain Housing Trust and a member of the Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty. “We have met the target, but we know that there’s more to do.”
The Housing Trust counted 255 formerly homeless households in the 1,640 apartments in its portfolio that qualified under the definition put forth by the Shumlin Administration. In just the last year, 85 of these individuals moved into their new home.
“This progress is the work of collaboration amongst many partners and organizations,” Monte added. “The focused work of the Chittenden Homeless Alliance is the primary reason we’re seeing good results, but more resources are needed to reach our goal of making homelessness both rare and brief.”
Additional initiatives are underway. These include are an agreement with the Burlington Housing Authority to house 42 formerly homeless individuals with housing vouchers and services, as well as a partnership with the UVM Medical Center to provide housing with services for frequent users of the emergency department or individuals in hospital beds with no other safe place to go.
Not included in the count are ongoing efforts by Champlain Housing Trust that address emergency needs of Vermonters, including providing a building for a warming shelter in Burlington and at Harbor Place, a motel in Shelburne.