At his Tuesday Covid briefing, Gov. Phil Scott was either lying or uninformed when he answered a question about the hotel/motel emergency housing program. Neither is a particularly good look.
Scott was asked about a claim by homeless advocates that the state has more money for emergency housing but isn’t using it. Meanwhile, they say, some people are being turned away. “I just don’t believe that that’s the case,” Scott replied. “We do have a program. We are taking care of those in need… We are protecting those who need our help.”
Sounds good. But a few moments later, Human Services Secretary Mike Smith undercut those bland assurances. Smith was asked about expanded access to emergency housing when the weather gets cold.
“it’s gonna be limited because we still are housing 1500 people,” Smith replied. “The Issue is the availability of hotel and motel rooms as we move forward. We are scouring the state right now for buildings we could use as temporary shelter sites for those individuals.”
And then the kicker:
We’re turning away some people, unfortunately, that do qualify under existing program because we don’t have the hotel and motel space that we would like.
Well now. Scott says we’re helping all those in need. Smith says we’re already turning people away, and that could get worse when cold weather increases demand.
Which is it, boys?Continue reading