Harrisburg – June 18, 2014 – Legislation designed to bolster the ability of veterans to access public housing has cleared the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-McKeesport) said today.

“Giving veterans preference during the housing selection process is meaningful and appropriate,” Brewster said. “These individuals and their families have made sacrifices defending our nation and they should be given preferential treatment.

“I am a co-sponsor of this measure and I was pleased that the legislation was unanimously approved by the committee.”

The bill (SB 1135), sponsored by Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia), would require that preference in the public housing selection process be given in the following order: homeless veterans; disabled veterans and their families; families of deceased veterans when the death is service related; other veterans and their families.

Brewster serves as the Democratic chair of the Senate’s Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and has been involved in helping to manage public housing in McKeesport for decades.

“For years, I have served as the chair of the McKeesport Housing Authority and I know the struggle that veterans and their families face when they confront housing issues,” Brewster said. “This legislation is an excellent step and a positive development that will assist veterans gain affordable housing.”

According the figures cited by the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, on any single day there are 1,500 veterans who are homeless.

The measure now goes to the Senate Floor, and will likely be referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee

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