Trenton – In an effort to combat veteran homelessness in New Jersey, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed legislation today 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, S-1746, 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), 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.”
“It is our duty to ensure the safety and well-being of our veterans, especially those who have fallen on hard times,” said Senator Corrado (R-Bergen/Essex/Morris/Passaic). “These grants will allow numerous non-profit organizations to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned properties for New Jersey’s homeless veterans. These brave men and women have sacrificed so much in service to our nation, and they should not have to spend one single night without a roof over their head.”
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.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.