Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Conversion Of Motel Into Apartments Designed To Help Homeless, Lower Costs

The University of Vermont Medical Center is funding the purchase of a Burlington motel as a way to reduce health care costs.

The medical center is making it possible for the Champlain Housing Trust to purchase the Bel Aire Motel in Burlington and convert it into rental apartments.

The apartments will be occupied by people who often end up staying in the hospital for continued care only because they don’t have an appropriate place to recuperate.

“It really allows them to be healthier and not go in and out of the hospital," says Chris Donnelly of the Champlain Housing Trust. "That’s really expensive. Having a hospital bed has got to be the most expensive housing you can think of."

A caseworker from Community Health Centers of Burlington will also work with the 12 residents who will live in the former motel.

The medical center is providing $1.6 million for the housing trust to acquire and renovate the motel. It is also funding the operating costs of the program.

The medical center says the savings in health care costs are expected to be between $500,000 and $2 million in the first year.

A similar Burlington program saved more than $1 million in its first year.

This story was revised at 3:35 pm on Dec. 9 to clarify that the motel will be owned by the Champlain Housing Trust.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
Latest Stories