TRENTON, NJ– In an effort to combat veteran homelessness in New Jersey, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously passed bipartisan legislation on Monday sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Kristin M. Corrado to expand an existing pilot program to authorize grants to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned homes for homeless veterans.
The current pilot program, established by the "New Jersey Housing Assistance for Veterans Act," authorizes grants to eligible nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate existing primary residences of disabled or low-income veterans. The bill, S1746, would amend the Act to expand the pilot program to include the purchase and rehabilitation of abandoned homes for homeless veterans.
"It is unacceptable to allow our veterans to go from serving our country to living on the streets. They have sacrificed time away from their families, friends and work in defense of our country and our freedom. We must do everything possible to assist them during trying times in their lives, such as now during the pandemic and economic downturn," said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington), who represents Bordentown in the Legislature and serves as Chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
"By restoring abandoned properties and making them into livable homes, we can provide these men and women with safe and secure housing. The benefits of this legislation are twofold – we are not only providing housing for otherwise homeless veterans but also helping to rehabilitate communities one house at a time," said Singleton.
Under the bill, a nonprofit veterans' organization, with experience in rehabilitating housing for homeless veterans, would be eligible to receive a grant to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned homes for homeless veterans. The bill would prioritize nonprofit organizations that serve communities in the greatest need of homeless services.