Author: Elisha Harig-Blaine

Eugene, Oregon to Veterans: “Thanks and welcome home.”

With leaders from across the country gathered in Boston for NLC’s Congress of Cities, about 40 people joined a conversation about housing for veterans with disabilities. The City Manager of Eugene, OR, Jon Ruiz, discussed his city’s Veterans Housing Project. From his personal experience in helping veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Jon spoke about

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Honoring Those Who Serve Beyond Veterans Day

This year, Veterans Day comes on the heels of a long election season. The divisiveness that characterized this election must now be overcome so that the big issues we face can be addressed. When Congress reconvenes here in D.C. on Tuesday, let’s hope they will remember the values we honor on Veterans Day – patriotism,

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New Data Show Nearly 1 in 5 Homes Have Some Type of Accessibility Problem

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the American Housing Survey (AHS). This year’s survey had a core set of questions, as well as supplemental questions regarding home modifications and the needs of occupants living with disabilities. The AHS findings confirm that the existing need for home modifications is enormous. The AHS data show that

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Supporting Veterans Requires Locally Driven Collaborations

A few weeks ago, I traveled to San Antonio to participate in the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ (NCHV) 2012 Veterans Access to Housing Summit. Community leaders and government officials from across the country attended this event, and one theme consistently emerged – the need for local coordination to end homelessness among veterans. With the

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Two Birds/One Stone: Finding Common Ground in an Election Year & Supporting Our Veterans

In another sign that veteran-related issues garner bipartisan support, members of the House Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees recently held a joint hearing with both Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Remarkably, after more than ten years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the hearing was the first time in

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New Report Highlights Challenges for Veterans

Last week, Paycheck to Paycheck was released by the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy. The report looked at the cost of housing in more than 200 metropolitan areas and the incomes earned for 74 jobs, including five jobs “targeted by training programs sponsored by the Department of Labor in partnership with the

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Bringing Veterans Back into the Fabric of Our Communities

This year’s 4th of July is a unique opportunity to reflect on our nation’s veterans. As our military begins to wind down involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, our nation also marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812 and the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War. What came

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“My pride is back”: Ending the shame of Veteran homelessness

With Memorial Day approaching, we may find our thoughts drifting to enjoying a few days with family and friends away from the rush of everyday life. But hopefully, for a least a moment, we will reflect on why this three-day weekend in late-May happens. For the more than 22 million veterans, this weekend is a

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How can cities best help disabled veterans?

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, more than 48,000 men and women have been injured. To put that in some perspective, this is about the same number of people living in cities such as Concord, NH, Salina, KS or Olympia, WA. With both of these wars winding down, veterans are in need of homes that

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