Vermont housing advocates met with officials from the Department for Children and Families yesterday to discuss revising the agency’s proposal that would limit access to emergency motel vouchers. The original plan required Vermonters who had not experienced a catastrophic event to meet 6 points on a scale of vulnerability in order to become eligible for a motel voucher.
At yesterday’s meeting, DCF unveiled their new proposal which would maintain the point system, but lower the eligibility threshold to 4 points. Additionally, the plan makes vouchers available to individuals who are 65 or older, have a child age 6 or younger, women in their third trimester of pregnancy, and individuals who have applied for or received SSI/SSDI.
Advocates at yesterday’s meeting generally felt the new proposal was more fair and inclusive, and appreciated the opportunity to collaborate and provide input. Linda Ryan, Director of the Samaritan House in St. Albans, stated, “I think we are way ahead of where we were to begin with. You’ve done a tremendous job of listening to us and adapting.”
Coverage of the story in local media:
Link to VTDigger.org Article, 7/23/2013
Fox44/ABC22 News, 7/23/2013
Seven Days VT – Fair Game, 7/24/2013
Seven Days VT – The Scoreboard, July 26, 2013
Rutland Herald – July 28, 2013