Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Changing veteran housing needs

by Janet Viveiros, National Housing Conference


Many veterans face severe housing challenges due to their experiences in military service and other factors. Among veterans, there are some populations that have unique housing and supportive service needs that are not always met by the programs currently available. NHC’s new report, Housing and Service Needs of Our ChangingVeteran Population, explores the changing demographics of the veteran population and identifies their special housing and supportive service needs.

Veterans age 55 or older make up almost two-thirds of the entire veteran population. As they age, these veterans face many of the same health challenges as their civilian counterparts. Many older veterans face mobility challenges that make it difficult to live in their current homes without modifications or supportive services. Many older veterans also struggle to afford their homes as they get older.

The number of female veterans is steadily growing as more women join the military. Many have children and a large share of female veterans struggle with economic and housing insecurity. Female veterans with children often have a difficult time finding housing appropriate for their families and connecting to supportive housing that addresses their unique challenges.

Veterans who joined the military after 9/11 make up a large share of the overall veteran population. Many of them live in metro areas where typical home prices exceed what they can afford at their median income. This places homeownership out of reach for many younger veterans.

The report also includes policy recommendations to improve veterans’ access to the affordable and supportive housing they need. 

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