On June 3rd, Californians resoundingly decided that they needed to provide for Veterans. In the primary elections held that day, voters passed a measure in the state that would allocate $600 million to build housing for homeless Veterans.
Currently, the state of California has the highest homeless Veteran population in the country. The state has somewhere between 15,000 and 19,000 homeless Veterans, making up nearly one quarter of the nation’s population of homeless Veterans.
Prop. 41, as the bill was identified on the ballots, calls for the state of California to sell $600 million in general obligation bonds in order to build and maintain temporary shelters and long term apartment complexes for homeless Veterans, low income Veterans and Veterans recovering from physical injuries and mental illness.
Prop. 41 will allow the state to borrow up to $600 million by selling the bonds to investors, who would be repaid using general tax revenues. The cost of these bonds would differ, depending on their interest rates and the duration over which they are repaid. The interest rates for the bonds is expected to be approximately 5%. The bonds are expected to be sold over a course of five years, and be repaid over a ten year period. For Prop.41, California taxpayers can expect to cover an average of $50 million per year for the next 15 years. The addition to the budget amounts to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of California’s annual budget.
California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Secretary Peter J. Gravett issued the following statement on the passing of the bill:
“We are happy the voters see the need for helping homeless and low-income veterans and have charged CalVet with ensuring the $600 million will be used to help the homeless and at-risk veterans in the state. For more than a century CalVet has provided quality long-term care in our state veterans home for aged and disabled veterans, and for more than 90 years we have provided affordable home loans to veterans looking to buy a home. Now, in partnership with the California Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Community Development, Proposition 41 will complete the continuum of housing options CalVet has to offer in support of low-income, vulnerable, at-risk and homeless veterans.”
Military Connection continues to support Habitat for Heroes, Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/ Santa Clarita Valleys collaboration with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).
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Military Connection: CA Okays Housing Bill for Vets: By Debbie Gregory