Federal Budget Cuts Hurt CT Housing Project for Homeless Veterans

This weekend the US House of Representatives slashed funding for Veterans in supportive housing. As of today, the Senate has not taken action on the bill.

The Federal government normally allocates $75 million annually to provide rental assistance for homeless Veterans and help pay for case management and clinical services. The House voted to eliminate the funding for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends in September, as part of $61 billion in cuts pushed by House Republicans.

Many representatives believed that the funding was unneccisary because of a 2009 VA memo which mentioned a backlog in vouchers, which has since been eliminated.

In Connecticut, the American Legion Veterans Housing Inc., (TALVI), was attempting to transform its building in Jewett City into housing for homeless Veterans. The project, estimated at $6 million, already has most of its funding, with $3.8 million form the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, which was based primarily on the assumption that the project would receive the VA housing vouchers.

TALVI’s plan is to create 18 apartments, with 8 in the Legion headquarters to help Veterans who cannot pay the high rent in the area. Recently, many facilities that filled this need have gone bankrupt without income to sustain them, so there is a need for affordable housing for homeless Veterans.

Preliminary work at is scheduled to start this week.

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