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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.71

Introduced by Senator Shumlin of Windham District and Senator Campbell of Windsor District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Appropriations; homelessness; shelters and services

Statement of purpose:  This bill would appropriate the amount of $1,000,000.00 to support shelters and services for the homeless.  The funds would be appropriated to and distributed to homeless shelters by the Office of Economic Opportunity.  The funds would also support pilot projects designed to alleviate barriers to housing, such as revised tenant selection criteria; establishment of risk pools for deposits, utilities, and repair costs; and provision of comprehensive case management and support services.

AN ACT RELATING TO SUPPORT OF HOMELESS SHELTERS AND SERVICES

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that homeless shelters in the state are struggling to serve an increasing number of homeless men, women, and children, and people suffering mental health challenges.  State support for homeless shelters and services has remained constant over the last decade while homeless shelters must cover rising costs of rents, utilities, and other operating costs.  Homeless shelters have also been unable sufficiently to provide comprehensive support services for homeless families with children and people with mental health challenges or to provide emergency assistance for rent, security deposits, and utility expenses or to provide adequate transitional housing.

(b)  The general assembly also finds that new strategies are needed to alleviate barriers facing homeless people with poor credit and unsatisfactory rental histories, and that pilot projects ought to be established to address tenant selection criteria in publicly subsidized residential units; provide risk pools for tenant deposits, utility, and repair costs; and for comprehensive case management and support services. 

Sec. 2.  APPROPRIATION

There is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2008 to the state Office of Economic Opportunity the amount of $1,000,000.00.  Such funds shall be distributed to homeless shelters in the state for the costs of providing shelters and services to homeless men, women, and children.  The office shall also provide funding to establish or support pilot projects designed to alleviate barriers to homelessness, and to provide more comprehensive case management and support for homeless families and people with mental health challenges.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us