- Karie Portillo
SACRAMENTO – A bill by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D- Thousand Oaks) to put before California voters a proposal to further fund a successful program to reduce veteran homelessness and provide supportive housing to veterans and their families passed from its first legislative committee on Monday.
The bill, AB 411, is the second attempt by Irwin to get a bond proposition on the ballot to provide another $600 million the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP), which was first approved by voters in 2014.
“It is heartbreaking that there are thousands of homeless veterans in California experiencing housing insecurity,” stated Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “The number of struggling vets has been reduced precisely because of programs like VHHP. It is important that this program remains funded to help our veterans in this time of great need.”
Since its establishment, the VHHP funded the construction of more than 2,600 units for veterans and their families, including at the Ormond Beach Villas development in Oxnard, which received $5.6 million from the VHHP.
At current award rates, the VHHP will run out of funds by 2023. There are still an estimated 11,000 veterans homeless in California.
"We have to do more to support our veterans experiencing homelessness," said AB 411 Joint-Author Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). "I am proud to support this bill to ensure those who have sacrificed so much for our country have a place to call home."
The bill heads next to the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which Irwin chairs.
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.