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Sen. Wicker introduces veteran housing bill

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Wednesday announced the State Veterans Homes Relief Act, legislation that would provide funding to address the current backlog of State Veterans Home projects.

Only $90 million was appropriated for SVH projects this fiscal year, leaving dozens of approved SVH construction projects without funding. This legislation would provide $500 million for these outstanding projects.

“Our nation’s veterans deserve the best possible support to meet their needs, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” Wicker said. “Eliminating the current backlog of State Veterans Home projects would provide critical upgrades to veteran housing across the nation, ensuring our former service members have safe and modern facilities to minimize transmission of infectious diseases and improve quality of care for years to come.”

Several grants for projects across the nation have been approved and are ready to start construction, but could be waiting for years for the necessary funds. By making this funding available immediately, projects across the nation would be able to start construction to serve veterans better.

The State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the states. SVH constructs, renovates and repairs state-owned and operated nursing homes, domiciliaries and adult day health care facilities.

Mississippi has four SVH properties located in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko and Oxford. Each serve approximately 600 veterans.