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Mayor has housing plan to ease homelessness in Vermont city

December 17, 2021 GMT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The mayor of Vermont’s largest city says he hopes to double housing production over the next five years as part of an effort to end chronic homelessness in Burlington.

Mayor Miro Weinberger released a 10-point action plan on Thursday to fulfill what he calls the “promise of housing as a human right.”

“The path to making good on the promise that decent, stable housing is a human right is to build a lot more homes throughout the city and throughout the region,” Weinberger said. “This will require community change and understanding from us all. Our goal should not simply be to reduce homelessness, it must be to end it.”

Mychamplainvalley.com reports Weinberger says the number of people in Chittenden County experiencing chronic homelessness has risen from 35 in 2018 to more than 160 now.

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The mayor’s action plan includes investing $5 million in COVID-19 relief funds to build new permanently affordable housing. That would include at least $1 million for initiatives to better serve the chronic homeless.

The plan would also set a goal of creating 1,250 new homes by the end of 2026 with a quarter of those permanently affordable.