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Prop. 41 Helps Vets Avoid Homelessness

June 5, 2014

SAN DIEGO - Programs to house homeless and near-homeless veterans will be getting more funding after the passage of Proposition 41 on Tuesday.

The Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 allows the state to sell $600 million in new general-obligation bonds to fund affordable multi-family housing for homeless and low-income veterans. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says this is a big win for homeless vets and their families.

"This is really about providing affordable housing and housing for veterans who have earned it," says Atkins. "And in particular, what's so important about this is this ballot measure focuses exclusively on veterans."

The measure, which easily won in Tuesday's primary with a margin of 65 to 35 percent, is the first veterans-related bond act that directs money to homeless and low-income veterans. Previous ballot measures have typically focused on programs to help veterans buy houses, but Speaker Atkins says too many soldiers are coming home with no place to live - or access to services to help veterans transition to the next phase of their lives.

"These veterans have served our country. We cannot allow them to be homeless," says Atkins. "I thank the voters for doing the right thing."

California has at least 15,000 homeless veterans, the most in the nation. Los Angeles County is home to nearly half of those homeless veterans.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA