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VCH's Plan to End Homelessness featured in NLIHC's Memo to Members

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) featured the Vermont Council on Homelessness’ Plan to End Homelessness in their January 25th Memo to Members. Special thanks to Maura Collins, Subcommittee Chair, primary author of the plan, and general herder of cats, and Angus Chaney, Chair of the Vermont Council on Homelessness. “Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s efforts to address homelessness in his state continued the week of January 7 when he signed legislation authorizing the Vermont Plan to End Homelessness. The plan strengthens Vermont’s strategies to address affordable housing, under-employment, domestic violence, and mental health and substance abuse issues that have led to increased homelessness in recent years. During the first two years of his term, Governor Shumlin approved two new rental assistance programs, replenishing the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program with state funds, and increased funding for the state Housing and Conservation Trust Fund (see Memo, 6/8/12). In January 2012, the Shumlin administration re-established the Vermont Council on Homelessness to develop and monitor the state’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. The council reports annually on progress made toward accomplishing the plan’s goals, and recommends resource, policy and regulatory changes needed to accomplish them. It is composed of state agency staff, entities engaged in preventing or addressing homelessness, persons experiencing homelessness and housing providers. Erhard Mahnke of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC), an NLIHC state coalition partner, worked intensively on the plan through a council subcommittee, which included VAHC members. “Our focus on ending homelessness has been sharpened by a week of life-threatening sub-zero weather in northern New England,” Mr. Mahnke said. “Governor Shumlin, his administration and legislative leaders deserve a lot of credit for committing additional scarce state resources to help bend the curve on homelessness as the federal government backs further away from its responsibility to help house our lowest income and most vulnerable citizens…” Read Full NLIHC Memo to Members Article

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