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Thousands of Vermonters will soon lose pandemic-era rental assistance. Here's how they're trying to stay housed.

a large white "for rent" sign stands in front of a home with a large green door
Rich Pedroncelli
Some 8,000 Vermonters will lose access to the pandemic-era Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or VERAP, in the coming months. Some 4,000 more could lose the benefit by the end of March 2023.

A pandemic-era housing program will soon wind down, even as more than 8,000 Vermonters and their families rely on it to pay rent. We're looking at the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program and talking with Vermonters who use it, as well as housing advocates who are trying to help families stay housed.

Our guests are:

  • Zoe, a renter in Colchester who is losing assistance as VERAP ends
  • Rick D’Angeles, with the Good Samaritan Haven shelter in Barre
  • Deacon Beth Ann Maier, an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont and member of the Vermont Interfaith Action statewide organizing committee on housing and homelessness
  • Sean Brown, commissioner of the Vermont Department for Children and Families

Broadcast live at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Editor's note: The live broadcast of this show referenced the state's announcement about VERAP's future as coming in on a Friday. The announcement, in fact, came in on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Mikaela Lefrak joined Vermont Public in 2021 as co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.