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Official Statement of RuralEdge Related to Events at 78 Hastings Hill

Official Statement of RuralEdge Related to Events at 78 Hastings Hill

RuralEdge is saddened to learn of the incident that occurred at 78 Hastings Hill this week and we thank the St. Johnsbury Police Department, Vermont State Police and all responders who work to keep our communities safe each day.

While events such as this are not unique to RuralEdge, we understand the challenge that all landlords face in balancing tenants’ rights while enforcing terms of leases to protect the safety and well-being of tenants, staff, and the larger community. `

RuralEdge takes this very seriously and works transparently with our partners, funders, regulators, and local authorities to do this.

While we cannot speak to the specifics of any leaseholder, we can confirm that Israel Jimenez Lugo was not ever a leaseholder in this or any RuralEdge property and therefore was not authorized to live at the property.

In any RuralEdge housing, as issues arise, we work quickly to identify problems and work collaboratively with leaseholders and social service agencies to rectify problems with the goal of having tenants retain their housing.

When there are issues that cannot be resolved or where there are conditions that create unsafe situations, we work quickly to proceed with eviction. The eviction process can be frustratingly long, especially during times of crisis, but we are diligent to respond and adhere to all processes dictated by the law.

As we hear every day, people are struggling and hurting. Sometimes these struggles lead them to make decisions that are not in their best interest or turn to people who lead them in the wrong direction. We hope that the housing and supports we provide help all our residents create a stable, healthy life for themselves.

While RuralEdge often sees great success, unfortunately this is not always the case. We share the concerns of the community and all those affected by this unfortunate event.

RuralEdge reaffirms our commitment to safely house and serve Northeast Kingdom residents, especially at this time when, more than ever, our services and resources are so desperately needed.

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