Danbury’s State Senator Urges Support of Vets Housing Bill; Public Hearing on Tuesday

February 3, 2011

On Tuesday, February 8, the legislature’s Housing Committee will hear testimony on a bill which would give preference to veterans who apply to state programs for affordable or subsidized housing.

“Our veterans have fought for us overseas and they have made huge sacrifices,” State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury), the bill’s sponsor, said. “They should not have to fight to get affordable housing when they return to Connecticut. This bill puts our veterans at the front of the affordable housing line, and they deserve to be there. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay, but this is one way to show our veterans that Connecticut will never forget their service.”

Lack of affordable housing is a primary catalyst for homelessness among all veterans according to a 2007 study by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. About 800 veterans are homeless in Connecticut on any one day.

Senator McLachlan noted that for those who have served in the military and are returning from active duty with disabilities, affordable housing provides the connection they need to reintegrate into life back home.

“Many of our veterans left unstable housing situations when they left Connecticut to fight for our country,” Senator McLachlan said. “When they return, that instability remains and in many cases it is worse than it was before. We need to ease their burden. Our goal is to prevent homelessness at all costs. I urge the public to join with me in support of this bill.”

Senator McLachlan has spearheaded efforts to provide housing for veterans for many years. He serves on the Danbury Housing Partnership and chairs the veteran’s housing committee that launched Danbury’s “Housing for Heroes” program in 2008. The program provides shelter, transitional housing and a path to a permanent home.

The public hearing on Senator McLachlan’s bill – Bill # 293 – will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 AM in Room 1C of the Legislative Office Building.