Creating a Welcome Mat for California Veterans

WelcomeMatWithin the last 10 days, some major milestones have been achieved on the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program.

Program guidelines were adopted on February 18 and just days later, the initial Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for approximately $75 million was announced.

HCD, CalHFA and CalVet have been working side by side to plan and produce this valuable housing program for veterans. A total of about $600 million is authorized through General Obligation Bonds to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate multifamily permanent and supportive housing for homeless and low income veterans and their families.

Leon Winston, a formerly homeless veteran is committed to helping vets break through the cultural, educational, psychological, and economic barriers they often face in their transition to the civilian world. As Chief Operating Officer and Housing Director of a not-for-profit veteran’s services organization, Swords to Plowshares, Winston is also a vocal advocate of the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program. “The very nature of the funding for this program will create an infrastructure of supportive and deeply affordable housing for the future.”

Winston points out how newer veterans are now coming home to California from the Middle East, and housing that is specifically developed for lower income vets will offer a warm and affordable welcome to many of these soldiers.

Nearly two million veterans in California add up to the largest veteran population in the country; unfortunately, about 12,000 of these men and women have no place to call home, which is one of the reasons the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program is so critical.