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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33 : Human Services

Chapter 021 : GENERAL ASSISTANCE

(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 2114)
  • § 2114. Rental or Mortgage Arrearage Program

    (a) The Department for Children and Families shall provide up to three months of rental or mortgage arrearage assistance to eligible families. Assistance under this section is not an entitlement and shall be limited to the funds appropriated.

    (b) As used in this section:

    (1) "Disability" means:

    (A) that an individual is receiving Medicaid, disability insurance benefits under the Social Security Act (SSI or SSDI), or Medicare based on a determination of disability;

    (B) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual or a record of such an impairment; or

    (C) a physical or mental impairment that prevents an individual from working for at least 30 days as verified by a signed statement from a physician or licensed practitioner.

    (2) "Extraordinary event" means a serious situation, occurrence, or emergency that either:

    (A) happens unexpectedly and demands immediate attention, including an unanticipated need for a work-related expense necessary to preserve employment or for housing expenses required to remove life-threatening hazards or to keep the home habitable; or

    (B) leads to additional expenses or loss of income which could not have been prevented by the family, including a death or illness of a family member.

    (3) "Gross housing expenses" includes the family's rent or mortgage, insurance that is required as part of the mortgage, property taxes, condominium fees, and utility costs, including fuel, electricity, water, basic telephone service, and sewer, but excluding television service.

    (4) "Income" shall be calculated using the Emergency Assistance rules, including the rules relating to deductions and exemptions.

    (c) A family is eligible if:

    (1) The family includes at least one dependent child.

    (2)(A) The family is in imminent danger of losing its housing due to circumstances that could not reasonably have been avoided, including:

    (i) the rent or mortgage payments were not made because the family experienced an extraordinary event that appropriately required the use of the funds;

    (ii) a family member has a disability which contributed to the circumstances that could not reasonably have been avoided and resulted in the rent or mortgage payments not being made; or

    (iii) the family's essential expenses exceeded the family's income or the family's gross housing expenses were equal to or greater than 60 percent of the family's income.

    (B) The family is likely to be eligible for temporary housing assistance, and payment under this section would be more cost-effective than providing temporary housing.

    (3) The payment of all or a portion of that arrearage will prevent, not merely postpone, homelessness.

    (4) The family has received a notice of rental termination for nonpayment of rent or a sworn statement of the amount of rent owed from the landlord, or a mortgage demand notice from the mortgage holder.

    (5) The landlord or mortgage holder agrees to terminate any action intended to evict or otherwise cause the family to relocate as a result of the payment and agrees not to reinstitute such action on the basis of obligations remaining as of the date of payment.

    (6) The family meets all other criteria for Emergency Assistance, except that prior receipt of Emergency Assistance for another purpose shall not disqualify the family for assistance under this section. Assistance under this section shall be available not more than once every 12 months. (Added 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 140; amended 2015, No. 23, § 58.)