Communities must be proactive in fighting veterans homelessness during affordable housing crisis

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One of the biggest mistakes my former hometown of Orlando has made during this housing crisis, was failing to protect veterans and siding with landlords and real estate instead when the affordable housing crisis became apparent.

So much so, that they’ve never had a project focused on affordable housing for veterans (story HERE).

Luckily, for some smaller communities, there is still time.

If the trajectory of rent in your community is skyrocketing and your veterans are unprotected, then you must take action now. It’s time we protect them, the way they protected us.

This could mean a number of things.

It could mean constructing affordable housing for them now: Don’t start building when they’ve already lost everything and are in shelters. Start swinging hammers as soon as you can.

Fair rent measures: Your real estate community and landlords won’t like this because it means less money for them, despite suffering veterans on the street, but if you need to stop the bleeding now, then get it done.

Vocational hardening or rehabilitation: If there is a track to get your veterans making more money, then take it. There are so many occupations that are shorthanded right now and some great programs to fast track licensing. We’re ready to get to work. Put us in the game.

Whatever you do, do it now. Later will be too late and you’ll be expanding shelters. And you will have already lost.

And sadly, some of our brothers and sisters have a tough time getting out of homelessness once they get in.

The time to act is now.

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