House bill would help homeless vets find homes

House bill would help homeless vets find homes
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On Veterans Day, lawmakers unveiled a plan to help homeless veterans find homes.

The bipartisan Housing Our Heroes Act, sponsored by Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), would provide money for veterans organizations to fix up abandoned properties, which they call “zombie homes.”

“It is simply unacceptable that our veterans, who have sacrificed so much to defend our country, should ever be forced to sleep on the streets at night,” Israel said in a statement. “This legislation will not only put a roof over our heroes’ heads, it will also transform unsightly zombie homes into renovated properties that will revitalize housing markets."

There are nearly 50,000 homeless veterans around the country, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

At the same time, there are about 1.5 million properties that have been abandoned by homeowners as banks go through the foreclosure process.

The legislation would kill two birds with one stone, the lawmakers reason, by providing a “pathway to homeownership for homeless veterans and taking abandoned rundown homes off the market.”