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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

New Guidelines to Improve Access to Installations for Troop Support Nonprofits

  • January 20, 2015
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Nonprofits providing support to military personnel and their families should find it easier to gain access to installations, under a memo recently issued by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The memo emphasizes the importance of relationships with military support organizations and directs senior military leaders and installation commanders to implement uniform procedures to ease access for those groups, reported DOD News. Hagel said he is “directing installation commanders to be welcoming and supportive. … Consistent with mission requirements and security constraints, installation commanders are to provide even/support-driven access, support, collaboration, available space and certain logistical support to those organizations …

Louisville Mayor Prescribes Comprehensive Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

  • January 19, 2015
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Louisville, Ky., is in the midst of a far-reaching effort to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year. Fifteen local agencies already have raised $10 million for the initiative, which calls for substance abuse counseling, debt management, funding for housing needs and many other services to help homeless veterans get back on their feet, reported WDRB. Mayor Greg Fischer believes the effort will find permanent housing for 360 homeless veterans. The initiative, Rx: Housing Veterans, is part of the national campaign to end veteran homelessness called Zero 2016. “It’s not just a hand-out but a hand-up to a better quality of life, a better way of life and you know what? It’s just the right thing to do,” said Kentucky Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry. “They served us; it’s time for us to serve them.”

New Orleans Goes Extra Step in Ending Veteran Homelessness

  • January 13, 2015
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New Orleans has ended veteran homelessness altogether, going a step beyond other major cities that have only ended chronic homelessness among veterans, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Last July, Landrieu pledged that the city would find homes for all veterans living on the streets, a figure estimated at 193, reported the Independent. Last week, the mayor announced the city had found housing for 227 homeless veterans. More than 300 local, county and state officials have joined a White House initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, with several already declaring victory, including Phoenix and Salt Lake City …

Two More Posts Open Family Housing to Military Retirees, Civilians

  • January 12, 2015
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Two Army installations recently have opened their family housing to military retirees and DOD civilians in an effort to raise occupancy rates. Last month, Corvias Military Living started allowing military retirees, DOD civilians and the families of slain soldiers to apply to live on Fort Bragg, N.C. Last week, housing officials there said they would accept DOD civilians who are single and service members at the rank of sergeant in an on-base apartment complex, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Those apartments previously were available only to service members with a rank of E-6 or higher …

Iowa Strives to Attract Veterans

  • January 12, 2015
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Veterans living in Iowa are eligible for a variety of tax breaks and other benefits following enactment last year of the Home Base Iowa Act, legislation designed to convince veterans to move to the state. Under the program, veterans are eligible to receive: a waiver of state income tax on military pensions; a $5,000 grant toward the purchase of a home; in-state tuition for public colleges and universities; and the ability to more easily obtain civilian licenses for skills learned in the military. “What we’re doing in Iowa can be an example of what other states can do,” Gov. Terry Branstad (R) told Military Times. “We look at it as a win-win for the veteran, for the companies and also for the communities in which they locate.”

Waive Income Taxes on Retirees’ Military Benefits, South Carolina Paper Urges

  • January 6, 2015
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As part of an effort to attract retired veterans, South Carolina lawmakers should pass legislation eliminating the state’s income tax on military retirement benefits, according to an editorial in Tuesday’s Aiken Standard. Taxes from retirement benefits currently generate $22 million in revenue annually, but a policy to exempt such benefits from income taxes would boost economic growth if it helps the state attract more retirees, the paper said. “Such tax relief shouldn’t be seen as a mere display of patriotism, it would ultimately be a smart economic tool for the state’s future …

New Website Helps Service Members Locate Housing in Host Community

  • January 5, 2015
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The Defense Department has launched a website, HOMES.mil, to help service members and their families, and DOD civilians find rental housing located near military installations. The listings provided by property managers are verified by military housing offices, reports the Navy Installations Command housing program. “HOMES.mil modernizes the way Navy Housing provides information on local rental properties and improves the housing service centers’ customer service to sailors and their families while helping to alleviate some of the burden and stress of PCS [permanent change of station],” said Greg Wright, Navy Housing program director. HOMES.mil offers a database of available rental listings, as well as contact information for service members’ current or prospective housing office. Military personnel also can use the site to list their own rental properties. The site allows property managers to create and update their listings, which can include photos, floorplans and descriptions of amenities.

Quality-of-Life Milcon Projects Shortchanged in Budget, Appropriators Point Out

  • December 23, 2014
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Cuts in the services’ military construction budgets to free up funds for operational readiness are placing the needs of service members in peril as essential quality-of-life milcon requirements such as child development centers, physical fitness facilities and troop housing are going unfulfilled, according to the House and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittees. “Deferral of needed QOL [quality-of-life] investment can adversely impact troop readiness and jeopardize the health and safety of service members,” according to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week by the president …

Persistence Needed in Battle against Veteran Homelessness

  • December 14, 2014
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The federal government has made significant strides in tackling veteran homelessness, but reaching President Obama’s goal of completely eradicating the problem is still years away, according to testimony last week by veterans service providers. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.),chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, questioned the rationale for having more than 20 programs designed to take homeless veterans off the streets and provide them with housing, health care and employment assistance, reported Stars and Stripes. The programs are not duplicative in many cases since homeless veterans have diverse needs, said Baylee Crone, executive director for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans …

Authorization Bill Calls for Moderate Cut to Commissary Subsidy

  • December 9, 2014
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill supports trimming the federal subsidy for military grocery stores by $100 million for one year, significantly scaling back the Pentagon’s cost-cutting proposal. The Defense Department asked for a $200 million cut in the annual direct subsidy for commissaries in FY 2015 as part of a plan to reduce the government’s annual subsidy for commissaries from $1.4 billion to $400 million over three years. Fully imposing the proposal would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

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