Friday, June 27, 2014

San Diego County passes $600 million veterans housing act

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

San Diego County has passed the Veterans Housing and Homeless prevention Act of 2014. Early support of the funding proposal by NHC member San Diego Housing Federation aided significantly in its passage. The act, also known as Proposition 41, will see implementation of a housing and homeless prevention program in the area, which will provide $600 million for the creation of affordable housing for veterans.

Voters express overwhelming support for the act, with 68 percent voting in favor of passage. State statistics show that about 16,000 veterans in California are experiencing homelessness, with roughly 10 percent of those veterans being from the San Diego region. The approval of Proposition 41 will allow three state agencies, the California Department of Veteran Affairs, the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the California Housing Finance Agency, to begin hosting stakeholder meetings to determine implementation of the new veterans program.

Keeping housing available and affordable for veterans is a cause that NHC is also committed to supporting. Last May we published Veterans Permanent Supportive Housing: Policy and Practice, a report that highlights essential elements of support and funding for permanent supportive housing for veterans, and which drew on the work of our Veterans Rental Housing Working Group. Additionally, we’ll be hosting a convening this September on rental housing for veterans, and will release a veterans housing communications toolkit.

San Diego Housing Federation was an early endorser of Proposition 41 and will continue to support stakeholder meetings that will take place in the area. The first meeting in San Diego is scheduled for July 10 and will be used to determine the structure of the program and what services it will provide. Meetings will also be hosted in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego in September. San Diego County encourages the public to attend.  

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