WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
Concerned about the difficulty veterans are having finding and keeping affordable housing, the Disabled Veterans National Foundation(DVNF), a non-profit organization that exists to help to men and women who come home with emotional and physical wounds after serving the country, is offering grants to help meet emergency needs in an effort to prevent vets from becoming homeless. The agency also offers assistance to veterans who need help finding housing resources designated for veterans, especially those who are disabled.
Veterans are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing, and few can afford home ownership, according to the latest “Paycheck to Paycheck” report from the Center for Housing Policy. The study focused on housing affordability for five jobs targeted by training programs sponsored by the Department of Labor in partnership with the military. It found that veterans with jobs as electricians, carpenters, dental assistants, firefighters and truck drivers don’t earn enough to buy a median-priced home in many of the 200 markets included in the study.
The DVNF addresses veterans housing needs in a number of ways: by funding existing veterans housing programs, helping veterans find affordable housing, and through its GPS Home Program, which provides grants of up to $1,000 to veterans who have emergency needs that might force them to move out of their existing homes. The grants can be used to pay rent or mortgage payments, or essential utilities such as electric, gas and water. While the funds cannot be applied to down payments on home purchases, they are crucial to helping many veterans stay in homes they already own, said DVNF Chief Administrative Officer Raegan Rivers.
“Whether they own a home or rent, many veterans face difficulties today in keeping up with their basic bills because of low wages and lack of employment opportunities,” said Rivers. “Preventing and eliminating homelessness among veterans is one of the DVNF’s foremost goals, and we know from the feedback we get from the veterans we have helped that a few hundred dollars can mean the difference between housing and homelessness.”
The bigger issue, said Rivers, is the placement of returning veterans in well-paying jobs. “Until America makes employing and paying veterans a high priority, our military heroes will continue to struggle with housing problems,” she added.
Some of the findings of the study included:
- More than 30 percent of vets ages 18 to 24 are unemployed
- Even an electrician’s salary will not cover the costs for a typical home or a one-bedroom apartment in the most expensive housing markets.
- Dental assistants, who earn between $26,532 and $40,148, fare the worst. For these workers, ownership was an affordable option in just 22 percent of the markets. Renting was just as difficult.
- Many veterans face barriers to home ownership due to poor credit and inadequate savings.
About Disabled Veterans National Foundation: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to change the lives of men and women who came home wounded or sick after defending our safety and our freedom. A nonprofit 501c3, DVNF was founded in the fall of 2007 by six women veterans to expand their scope of work within the veteran's community. For more information, visit http://www.dvnf.org.