HARRISBURG- June 18th, 2014– Senator Vincent Hughes issued the following statement in response to the passage of Senate Bill 1135 by the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee:

“Today, the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee passed new legislation which amends the Housing Authorities Law of 1937, to provide public housing preference to veterans of the U.S. military. By passing this bill, the committee has taken a huge step towards ensuring that our veterans and their families will be cared for, and that homelessness among veterans will soon vanish in Pennsylvania. I would like to thank my colleagues Senator Argall and Senator Brewster, who co-chair the committee, as well as all of the other members who voted in the affirmative, for ensuring that this important piece of veteran’s affairs legislation will head to the Senate floor.

“On any given night, approximately 1,500 veterans within the Commonwealth are homeless; this number is 1,500 too many. It is simply unacceptable for any veteran to be without a home after pledging to serve our country and protect our freedom. With the number of homeless veterans continuing to increase within the state, and many veterans currently in imminent danger of losing their home, the time has come to put a stop to this growing problem. The new legislation which passed through the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee today will certainly help in this endeavor to reduce, and eventually eliminate, homelessness amongst veterans in Pennsylvania.

“Many of our veterans already face numerous challenges when transitioning from active duty to civilian life, and finding housing should not be one of these challenges. Under the new legislation, we can ensure that veterans and their families are able to swiftly meet their housing needs, and that they will not be forced to deal with the added stress of living without a home.

“The actions of my colleagues in the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee today are a great first step towards eliminating this problem in the Commonwealth. When the bill reaches the floor of the Senate for a vote, I hope there is bipartisan support for this necessary piece of legislation, and that it soon crosses the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is also the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.