WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Tom Rooney (FL-17), and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) introduced bipartisan legislation to help veterans organizations buy, renovate, and repurpose abandoned housing into homes for veterans experiencing homelessness.

The Housing Our Heroes Act, creates a three-year pilot program to provide grants to Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to acquire and update blighted properties for the purpose of housing homeless veterans. This program will help put previously homeless veterans on the path to homeownerhsip and improve neighborhoods by restoring abandoned properties.

“Our district has more veterans than any district in New York State, and this bipartisan legislation will help us honor the commitment we have made to those who have bravely defended our nation,” said Stefanik. “The Housing Our Heroes Act will ensure our veterans have a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in at night. Taking care of our veterans strengthens our communities, and I encourage all of my colleagues to support this important bill.”

“Our responsibility to those who served in our armed forces does not end when they hang up the uniform. No one who has put their life on the life for our country, and may still bear the physical and mental scars of that service, should be forced to live unsheltered on the streets,” said Schneider. “This bipartisan bill presents a win-win commonsense solution to help both our veterans find a safe place to call home, while also supporting the revitalization of our communities by renovating previously abandoned properties.”

“I am proud to introduce this legislation with my colleagues and provide veterans experiencing homelessness with a true path to homeownership,” said Rooney. “Although some communities, like Charlotte County, Florida in my district, have been recognized for their efforts in ending homelessness among veterans, we must continue working to ensure that no veteran—no matter where they live—is left out in the cold.”

“These guys fought so we can sleep soundly at night and they deserve the same,” said Maloney. “We’ve got vets who need a home, and we’ve got homes sitting vacant and attracting crime – this bill kills two birds with one stone – it’s really a no-brainer.”

According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless veterans has declined by more than 46 percent since 2009. Despite this recent progress, nearly 40,000 veterans remain homeless across the country.

The text of the legislation is available online.