California to use US$600M in general obligation bonds to pay for acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of multifamily low-income permanent and supportive housing for veterans and their families
June 17, 2014
– The California Department of Veterans Affairs, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the California Housing Finance Agency are partnering to give Veterans access to safe and affordable housing.
On June 3rd, 2014, an overwhelming amount of California voters approved the passage of Proposition 41, allowing the 3 state agencies to use $600 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the “acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of multifamily low-income permanent and supportive housing for homeless and low income veterans and their families in California, according to The Central Valley Business Times.
The initiative is crucial for California’s veterans as California is the state with the #1 largest amount of veterans in the whole nation, home to 2 million veterans out of 22 million total in the United States as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. These statistics mean that California accounts for 9% of the total veteran population throughout the United States. Out of the 2 million veterans in California, 16,000 of them are homeless, also giving California the distinction of, “having the largest homeless veteran population in the country” as noted by The Central Valley Business Times.
Needless to say, the passage of Proposition 41 means great things for our homeless vets.
According to Lake County News, the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program, which was created when Governor Brown signed AB 639 by Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Perez in 2013, is already in development stages and the passage of Proposition 41 will help provide the funding to put their goals into action. The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVET), the California Department of Housing and Community Development (the HCD), and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) are already working to identify needs and solutions that will better the quality of life experienced by those who served our community and ultimately our freedom. The funding will be used to make a huge improvement on the housing options available for vets. The three state agencies are planning stakeholder meetings in July to implement the program framework and proposed policies. These meetings will also work to identify where the demand is greatest for the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program, and the meetings will reach a conclusion on which services need to come together in order to achieve this. The meetings are open to the public, in Sacramento, Oakland, San Diego, and Riverside throughout July.
Lake County News detailed that “subsequent stakeholder meetings will be held in San Diego, Los Angeles and the Bay Area in September 2014 to allow for comments on the draft program guidelines”. Information about these meetings will be posted at the HCD website, http://www.hcd.ca.gov/fa/vets/, and the CalVet website as well, http://www.CalVet.ca.gov.
“A stable, safe, affordable sense of place is the best possible way to tell our veterans ‘thank you for your service,’” says Claudia Cappio, executive director of CalHFA. “We look forward to collaborating with veterans, stakeholders and other state agencies to bring this valuable program to fruition.”
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