(TRENTON) –Franklin Township resident, Assm. Joe Danielsen and Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Cleopatra Tucker, Pamela Lampitt, and Gordon Johnson sponsored legislation to help veterans with the cost of housing modifications was signed into law on Monday.

The Assembly approved the bill in June, 75-0. It was approved 37-0 in December by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.

“At the very least, those who were willing to give their lives for this country should be able to get around their own homes without a struggle,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex/Somerset), a former Army reservist. “Anything the state of New Jersey can do to make veterans’ lives easier is a worthy endeavor.”

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The “New Jersey Housing Assistance for Veterans Act,” bill A-306 will be a five year pilot program designed to help disabled and low-income veterans pay for home modifications and rehabilitation, through grants. 

“New Jersey has a moral obligation to honor the sacrifices veterans have made by facilitating their transition to civilian life,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Just as no veteran ought to be homeless, no one who served this country should live in a home that makes everyday tasks a struggle.”

According to a news release, grant funding may be used, for example, to install wheelchair ramps, re-equip bathrooms to enhance accessibility or install energy efficient equipment that would reduce utility costs.

Organizations that employ workers participating in the Helmets to Hardhats Program, which connects military service members with training and career opportunities in the construction industry, would receive preference for grants, according to release. 

No single organization may be awarded more than $400,000 in any fiscal year under the legislation, according to release. Entities receiving a grant would have to contribute a 50 percent match through either cash or in-kind contributions, according to release. 

The program will be reviewed annually by the governor and legislature. 

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