New shore-based law aims to expand veterans’ housing availability
Veterans struggling to secure roofs over their heads might have better and broader chances to do so, under a Shore-sponsored bipartisan measure that Governor Christie enacted this week.
Bills S-260, A-452 and A-984, sponsored by Republican state Senator Chris Connors and Assembly members Brian Rumpf and DiAnne Gove (R-9) sets aside a portion of tenant-based rental assistance vouchers under the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) for ex-military members. It takes effect immediately, the legislators said.
"For those veterans falling on hard times and in need of housing that they can afford, we are elated that the State's rental assistance program will now prioritize their needs," they said in a joint statement.
"From the outset, we sought to build upon the state's existing veterans' housing programs, such as 'Veterans Haven,' to provide additional housing opportunities for those who have served our nation."
According to the lawmakers, the existing statute offered SRAP vouchers only to veterans who fulfilled requirements of certain transitional housing programs. Their amendment broadens the field to include all vets.
As representatives of the section of New Jersey where most veterans have settled for their later lives, the Forked River-based officials serve on the Senate and Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committees, and have had seats on the South Jersey Veterans' Hospital Task Force.
Assemblywoman Gove took part in a study of treatment of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in courts, which set the foundation for efforts to create early-diversion policies.