Advocates had worried the proposal designed to save money could have had the unintended consequence of forcing more people to live on the streets.
The cuts would have reduced a $4 million appropriation by more than half, thinking the money saved could be better spent on other services that would keep people from becoming homeless in the first place.
This summer, the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin partially reversed course. And on Thursday lawmakers approved its revisions.
The emergency rules set up a new eligibility system to decide who can be housed in motels when homeless shelters are full. Homeless people over age 65, those receiving federal disability benefits, families with children age six or younger, and women in the third trimester of pregnancy qualify automatically for motel accommodations.
The rules are in effect from Aug. 1 to Nov. 29.
"So this is a big, big improvement over what had been originally proposed by the department. So we're happy for that. At the same time, we're only partly down the road here," said Chris Curtis, a lawyer with Vermont Legal Aid. "We have got to address the issue of homeless in Vermont; we have got to address the problem of poverty in Vermont. And those issues are going to require some serious, serious policy lifting and some serious investment."