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Bazelon Releases New Report on Supportive Housing

Posted April 3, 2014

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a report on the ADA and integrated housing opportunities for people with mental illness: A Place of My Own: How The ADA Is Creating Integrated Housing Opportunities For People With Mental Illnesses.

A Place of My Own is designed to provide guidance and thought leadership to nationwide stakeholders about how the ADA has been and can be used in the future to create supported housing for individuals with mental illnesses who are needlessly institutionalized or at risk of needless institutionalization.

The report describes what the ADA’s integration mandate and the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision require, how they have promoted the development of supported housing for individuals with mental illnesses, what supported housing should look like, and how investment in supported housing will help states comply with their legal obligation to administer services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

The report is available to download on the Bazelon Center’s website here.


Public Saves When Homeless Hospital Patients Housed

Posted November 7, 2013

The Economic Roundtable recently published a report showing a reduction in public costs when chronically homeless hospital patients are placed into permanent supportive housing.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition has more:

A new report published by the Economic Roundtable, shows that placing high cost homeless hospital patients into permanent supportive housing can significantly reduce annual public and hospital costs. According to the report, for every $1 spent to house and support homeless patients with chronic illnesses, $2 in public costs can be avoided in the first year after the patient is housed, and $6 in subsequent years.

This study examined the outcomes of 163 hospital patients screened by the 10th Decile Project in Los Angeles between April 2011 and May 2013. The 10th Decile Project works with hospitals to identify the 10% of chronically homeless patients associated with the highest public hospital costs and offers housing, social, and health assistance…

After 10th Decile patients obtained permanent housing, total annual average public and hospital costs per person decreased from $63,808 to $16,913, not including housing subsidy costs. After a patient is housed, the public costs avoided amount to $31,736 in the first year, and $40,377 in subsequent years, even after accounting for housing subsidy costs.

The full report, Getting Home: Outcomes from Housing High Cost Homeless Hospital Patients, can be found on The Economic Roundtable’s webpage.  Here’s a look at the pre and post-housing costs of those studied:

Getting_Home_Cost outcomes


Federal support for Vermont homeless programs renewed

Posted May 7, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from Housing Matters, May 3, 2013.

“Nearly $3.6 million in annual federal assistance for transitional, permanent, and supportive housing to Vermonters who experience homelessness will be renewed. Nationwide, a total of $72 million will be provided, announced HUD Secretary Shaun Donavan yesterday.

‘We know these modest investments in housing and serving our homeless neighbors not only saves money, but saves lives,” said Donovan. “These local programs are on the front lines of the Obama Administration’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness as we know it once and for all.'”

HUD will award a third round of grants to selected projects later in the year.

Link to Full HUD Press Release 


My Turn: Sequestration will hit seniors

Posted December 20, 2012

By: Ken Gordon, President of the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Reposted from The Burlington Free Press, December 13, 2012.

“Without congressional action, an obscure budgeting gimmick will soon slash supports for seniors in our community. Called a “sequester,” this wave of $109 billion in automatic cuts will take effect in January unless Congress calls its own bluff.

The sequester is a “stick” Congress created to make itself do its job of finding appropriate ways to tackle our nation’s deficit and is not rational budget-making. It avoids making actual choices about which federal programs provide the greatest return on investmentand reflect the current and future needs of our country. Instead, it cuts roughly 8 percent from all federal discretionary programs, from military spending to food safety to education.

Although we are concerned about the total impact sequestration will have on this country, we are particularly mindful of the potential effect a sequester would have on Vermont’s most vulnerable older adults. A sequester means cuts to senior meal programs across the state — an important service that helps thousands of Vermont seniors to remain independent and living in their own homes.

If the sequestration goes into effect, seniors will lose access to other essential Older Americans Act services such as rides to doctor’s appointments, assistance with public benefits, health insurance counseling, as well as the ability to participate in exercise and injury prevention programs that have proven their worth in helping seniors avoid unnecessary and costly hospital and nursing home stays.

Family caregivers who are doing their best to help mom or dad continue to live at home would also be hurt by sequestration. Funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program would also be cut. Reduced services mean more work, financial strain and worry for them. These are services that help family caregivers care longer for their loved ones. Given that family caregivers are the single largest source of long-term care, we must find every possible way to support their efforts, not undermine them.

While deficit reduction is a worthy goal, arbitrarily cutting critical programs to the most vulnerable population groups does not always result in savings, and can cause great pain and anxiety to those who can least handle it. Often, when at-risk older adults don’t get the help they need to remain in their homes and communities, the next available option is nursing home care.

Nationally, home and community based services cost, on average, about one-third as much as nursing home care. Few older adults have the resources to fund institutional care privately for very long, which means that even middle class seniors often end up spending down their resources and going on Medicaid, which is paid for with federal and state dollars.

If there are fewer rides for seniors to the doctor or fewer nutritious meals delivered to the homebound elderly, the negative health outcomes will not only be suffered by these vulnerable older individuals and their families, but also felt by taxpayers in the form of higher Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.

Congress must do whatever it takes to avoid the sequester, and, instead, take a responsible and balanced approach to solving our nation’s deficit problem. An automatic and thoughtless hit to critical programs will cause real pain to seniors and families in Vermont and across the country.”


Struggle to house city’s homeless faces new hurdles


By Matt Ryan, Burlington Free Press Staff Writer. Reposted from the Burlington Free Press, December 14, 2012.

“’What makes it a complicated challenge is that our first and best impulse is to help someone in crisis,” Markley said. “And in a time of very limited resources, when you do that, the consequence is that you are often diverting away from longer term solutions.’”
Rita Markley, Executive Director, The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) 

Link to Burlington Free Press Article 

PDF of Full Burlington Free Press Article



Money Follows the Person Request for Proposal

Posted October 6, 2012

The Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living, Division of Disability and Aging Services is seeking an organizational or individual consultant to support the Money Follows the Person (MFP) initiative.

MFP is a five-year demonstration grant targeted at residents residing in a nursing facilities throughout the state who face barriers to discharge related to lack of initial transition supports and other services necessary to address complex needs.  MFP is intended to assist more people in accessing community-based Choicesfor Care (CFC) services by facilitating transitions from nursing homes to community settings, and to provide ancillary services to support the success of these transitions.  Bid Closing Date: 10/22/2012, 4:00 PM.

Link to Bid Information 

For more information, please contact Linda Martinez at or at 802-871-3361.


Vermont Statewide Housing Conference – Register today!


The early bird registration fee for the Vermont Statewide Housing Conference has been extended until October 14, 2012.

The Statewide Housing Conference will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at the Hilton Burlington in Burlington, VT. The Conference provides a unique opportunity for housing experts to meet and discuss advocacy, policy, financing, development, and more.

The $60 registration fee provides you with: a full day of workshops and presentations, peer networking opportunities, provided lunch, and workshop materials and contact information for attendees, following the event.

Link to Registration

Conference Brochure 


Samaritan House Grand Re-Opening!

Posted August 30, 2012

Come celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the Samaritan House on Tuesday, September 18.

The Samaritan House, a non-profit organization providing emergency shelter and transitional housing to individuals in need, is exhibiting it’s newly renovated, energy-efficient living quarters and brand new Resource Center.

The event begins at 11:00am with remarks from Governor Peter Shumlin and other dignitaries. There will be an Open House from 12:00pm-2:00pm, following the speakers, with light lunch and beverages provided.

Please RSVP by September 10 at or (802) 373-6505.


The Samaritan House Inc. is located at:

24 Kingman St, St. Albans, VT 05478



Save the Date: Housing 101 Training

Posted June 29, 2012

Sponsored by: Washington County Agency Programs & Case Managers

Everything you always wanted to know to be able to help an individual or family with housing, but were afraid to ask!

  • When: Friday, September 28, 2012
  • Where: Pavilion Auditorium, Montpelier, Vermont.
  • Time: 9:00am – 3:00p

Topics May Include: 

  • Vouchers – Section 8, Shelter Plus Care & Family Unification
  • Point in Time Survey Data
  • General Assistance & Housing Replacement Funds
  • Federal & State Initiatives
  • Housing & Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
  • Housing & Veterans

If you have any questions please contact: Allison Joyal Silveria, Central Vermont Community Action Council. 802.479.1053.




Seniors enjoying new city housing: officials point to project as a model

Posted May 29, 2012

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS chats with some of the residents of Vergennes Senior Housing before a ceremony Monday marking the completion of the affordable housing complex on Armory Lane. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

Addison County Independent – Posted on May 24, 2012 – Kaitlyn Kirkaldy

VERGENNES — Larry Carlson was on the waiting list for an apartment in the Vergennes Senior Housing building for more than three years. Once construction began, he checked back every week to see if he would get in. Now a resident of the newly opened facility off Armory Lane, he is thrilled with his experience.

“As soon as the architect first came out, I was over to the offices and signed up. I was here every single week to check and see how the progress was coming,” said Carlson.

At an open house Monday morning, Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) Executive Director Terry McKnight said that Carlson’s satisfaction with the project was typical.

“You can look around and see the faces of the people that now live in that building. If you talk to any of them, they’re really enjoying it,” McKnight said.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., joined McKnight and representatives of Housing Vermont, ACCT, and other project contributors to celebrate the opening of Vergennes Senior Housing. The $6.2 million facility will provide 25 affordable and energy-efficient apartments to seniors.

The facility was paid for through a mix of public and private funds, from People’s United Bank, various Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Community Development Program and Efficiency Vermont.

Sanders secured $380,000 for the project in a HUD grant.

“This is exactly the kind of housing we should be building,” Sanders said. “Not only does it meet the significant need for quality and affordable senior housing , but it does it in a very energy-efficient manner.”

Nancy Owens, president of Housing Vermont, acknowledged the importance of creating affordable housing.

“One of the great things about this property is that it’s affordable to people with a range of incomes, that it’s welcoming to the entire community and lots of different people can live here,” Owens said.

All speakers emphasized the balance between affordability and energy efficiency.

“This is a great project because it exemplifies everything that is right about affordable housing: mixed income, energy efficient, it works, it’s accessible, it combines public and private money, and it’s in a space where it created jobs,” said Art Casavant, vice president of People’s United Bank.

The 25,244-square-foot building will not only provide comfortable residences for two dozen Addison County seniors, but itwill also serve as a base for the local Meals on Wheels program, and there will be twice-a-week senior luncheons, as well as a range of events for residents and for the whole community.

The project took years to develop and months to complete. Ultimately, everyone involved is thrilled with the outcome of their hard work.

“This is a building that took a lot of planning, a lot of work, and created a lot of jobs, and really came out a beautiful building with the most advanced energy systems possible,” McKnight said.

Owens called attention to the numerous energy-efficient features of the project.

“We have the solar panels on the roof, we have the wood-pellet boiler, we are looking at energy efficiency in this building where we will have about 50 percent of the energy costs compared to a similar building. This helps us keep our rent affordable in the long haul,” said Owens.

Beyond providing affordable and sustainable housing to seniors, Vergennes Senior Housing has been designated as the first site in Addison County for the Services and Support at Home (SASH) program.

“SASH is a HUD program to reach out to people on Medicare in the county and help coordinate services for them in their homes or their apartment buildings where they live, and to help support people to continue to live independently. We’re organizing that in Addison County,” said McKnight.

With the project successfully built, many hope to build similar developments in Vergennes and in the rest of Vermont. However, there is a two-year moratorium on grants for such projects, so Sanders will be unable to obtain more funds, according to his staff.

Mayor Michael Daniels expressed his desire for future projects, and Owens has similar hopes, adding that it is feasible in Vergennes.

“We do own the property that surrounds this building and have hopefully some future plans for some more housing and maybe a childcare center, so hopefully the neighborhood can continue to grow and to serve the community,” Owenssaid.

Carlson spoke for the residents and added his seal of approval.

“This is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It houses us beautifully, the apartments are just phenomenal, and the staff that you have in this particular building and working at the office are great. I just wanted to let you know that we are super pleased with everything.”


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