Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) is proposing legislation to turn vacant homes into homes for veterans.
Maloney, whose 18th district includes parts of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange counties, announced his proposed Housing Our Heroes Act in front of a "zombie" home in Newburgh. The legislation would provide federal investments to Veterans Service Organizations to acquire and update blighted properties to provide housing for homeless veterans. There are 1300 homeless veterans in New York, Maloney said.
“We’ve got all these zombie properties dragging down home values and housing criminal activities, and we’ve got veterans living on the streets or struggling to buy a home – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we can kill two birds with one stone here,” said Maloney.
The legislation would create a three-year $25 million pilot program within the VA to provide grants to VSOs and other non-governmental organizations to acquire and update blighted properties for the purpose of housing homeless veterans.
The program would help put previously homeless veterans on the path to homeownership by enabling them to start repaying the VSO after a year of occupancy.