SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Against the backdrop of a San Diego shelter for homeless former members of the armed forces, Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday signed legislation that could lead to better housing opportunities for the state's military veterans.
"After veterans serve our country, it's our duty to serve them," Brown said as he signed the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 at Veterans Village of San Diego. "This new reformed housing program will make life better for veterans for years to come."
The bill puts a measure on the June ballot that will allow voters to decide whether to take the remaining $600 million authorized by a bond act in 2008 and redirect it to build affordable multi-family housing for veterans.
The 2008 bond measure enabled veterans to purchase single-family homes, farms and mobile homes through the CalVet Home Loan Program. The recent recession and shakeup of the housing market, plus changing demographics for veterans, has rendered the program ineffective, according to text of the newly signed bill.
"Home is where the heart is, and we put our heart in America," Army veteran Marcus Meyer told CBS 8.
The bill was co-authored by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. Other listed co-authors include Sens. Marty Block, D-Lemon Grove, Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, and Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad, along with Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego.
The governor also signed into law a bill by Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, that changes the role and composition of the California Veterans Board, and legislation by Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, to add cities to the jurisdictions that cannot revoke the dedication of a facility to a veterans organization, as long as the group abides by the terms of the dedication.