This morning, the Vermont House failed to override Governor Scott’s recent veto of Burlington’s proposed Just Cause Eviction charter change by just one vote. We at Rights & Democracy are deeply disappointed and angered by this loss for tenants, especially low-income and BIPOC residents who are most impacted by housing injustice, during a time in which secure housing is in short supply and rents are spiking and after Burlington voters overwhelmingly supported this measure on last year’s ballot.

At the same time, the voices and stories of so many who joined this campaign have grown tenant power and shifted the narrative around housing in Vermont. We are ready to continue fighting alongside all of the fierce activists, advocates, and movement champions in our state who are committed to building a future in which we all have the housing we need to thrive.

See statements from RAD’s Housing Organizer, Tom, who led this campaign, and our Executive Director, Kiah, below.

“We’re devastated the House didn’t override the veto this morning but this is not the end of the fight to create equitable housing in Vermont. In the last two years we have built a tremendous base of housing activists that have collectively put in thousands of hours to ensure the people of Burlington got a fair shake when renting. We will be using this collective power to ensure that we will achieve victories in housing equity in the years to come.” – Tom Proctor

“This loss was a cruel blow to so many who made it clear through democratic, electoral processes that real tenant protections are needed in the midst of our inhumane housing crisis. Housing remains a human right and Just Cause standards offer no threat to landlords who are committed to ethical housing practices.” – Kiah Morris

As Tom says, we are just getting started. To get involved in our ongoing work for housing justice, reach out at tomp@radvt.org