TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Kristin M. Corrado that would expand the current pilot program to authorize grants to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned homes for homeless veterans advanced from the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today.
“It is unacceptable to allow our veterans to go from serving our country to living on the streets when they come home,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Our veterans sacrificed time away from their families, friends and work in defense of our freedom so we must do everything possible to assist them during difficult and trying times in their lives.
“By restoring abandoned properties and making them into livable homes, we are providing these men and women with safe and secure housing. Clearly, the benefits of this legislation are twofold – we are providing housing for otherwise homeless veterans while also helping to rehabilitate communities one house at a time,” said Singleton.
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. This bill would amend the Act to expand the purposes of the pilot program to include the purchase and rehabilitation of abandoned homes for homeless veterans.
Under the bill, S-2607, a nonprofit veterans’ organization that has 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 afford a preference in awarding grants to nonprofit organizations that serve communities that are in the greatest need of homeless services.
“No hero who has sacrificed for their country should be left without a roof over their head,” said Senator Corrado (R-40). “Thankfully, we have many incredible non-profit organizations that are building hope and restoring homes for New Jersey’s veterans. With additional grant money, these organizations will be able to purchase and rehabilitate more abandoned properties to provide our veterans with the homes they deserve.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-0, and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.