Merkley and Wyden Announce Appropriations Win To Help Homeless Veterans

Washington, DC- Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that included in the Senate Military Construction appropriations bill is $320 million for the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program and $496 million for the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher program. These programs help veterans and their families who are either homeless or on their way to being homeless find a home. 

“Our veterans have stood up for us, and we must stand up for them,” said Merkley. “No one who has fought for our country overseas should return home to sleep on the streets or in a homeless shelter.” 

“Veterans returning after serving our country should be honored, not given a cold shoulder that consigns them to homelessness,” Wyden said. “These programs provide a lifeline to veterans and their families seeking a roof over their heads.”                                                  

SSVF and the VASH voucher programs are both crucial programs to help veterans and their families navigate the rental market. The SSVF program promotes housing stability among very low-income veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing. The SSVF grants provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits. The VASH voucher program provides permanent housing subsidies and case management services to homeless veterans.

Senator Merkley recently completed a statewide affordable housing tour to talk with housing experts, local leaders and Oregonians who have been affected by rising rental prices, lack of available housing and skyrocketing housing prices. During the tour, housing advocates underscored how important both the SSVF and VASH voucher programs are to help our veterans get the stability they need. 

The bill was voted out of committee today on a bipartisan vote. The bill will then need to be considered by the full Senate, and eventually to be merged with a counterpart bill from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to be passed by both houses and signed into law.