A Time of Hope for Homeless Veterans Is Now
New Jersey neighbors stand in the street staring at their houses. It’s a rather nice spring day and the evidence of a hard winter has dissipated leaving neighbors in home-improvement mode. The sound of power saws and drills can be heard in the background. A home down the street that was once abandoned is being fully renovated. The neighborhood, and community, are improving with an air of optimism.
A setting for improvement is being placed with more neighbors showing they want to take pride in their homes too. What was once a crime-ridden dangerous neighborhood, is fast becoming a network of caring, thriving neighbors. New life is infiltrating the area in stark comparison to the darker days of the past.
After decades of instability it feels as if the whole neighborhood is being re-built. Rehabilitating abandoned homes means crime goes down. Even vacant lots are being redeveloped. What does this mean for the neighborhood and community?
The streets now feel calm and safe. Property values actually rise. This is what a whole home renovation for an abandoned property can do for a community. This is especially true when an abandoned home is being renovated to provide a new home for homeless veterans.
Whole Home Renovations for Abandoned Property Turn a Liability into an Asset
A derelict house is a clear outward sign that a community is experiencing reversing fortune. Once productive properties that are now suffering from disuse vary in shape, size, and former use. Abandoned properties are a symptom of bigger economic forces within a community. They are associated with increased risk to welfare and health, higher crime rates, decreasing property values, and mounting municipal costs that render them complications in and of themselves.
However, non-profit community organizations and government officials are turning things around and viewing abandoned property as an opportunity to give homeless veterans a place to live. This is an effective movement that allows empty homes to become assets that offer revitalization and stabilization to homeless veterans. Nothing feels better than giving a home to someone that served the country.
It’s actually a benefit to veterans and the community. Vacant property is a curse. They tend to become boarded-up firetraps, trash-filled, or a drug den. Abandonment isn’t always something local officials can control either. In fact, the problem doesn’t really incite any sense of urgency except for the neighbors on the block.
Research proves different. There is evidence that a vacant property is an expense to local governments that they can’t afford. That expense grows larger every year the abandoned property stays vacant. The property itself produces hardly any or no tax income. However, what they do require is more time, money, and attention.
Whole Home Renovation Creates Hope
Most of the time when you think of a whole home renovation, you’re thinking about fast home sales. However, not every whole home renovation is the same. This is especially true when that home was an abandoned home. The renovation of an abandoned home creates homes in the community and neighborhood.
Nothing feels better than beating down a wall. That wall being the obstacle of keeping homeless veterans homeless. A whole-home renovation that transitions property into a home for a homeless vet is inspirational. A real difference is being made for neighborhoods and veterans.
Non-profit organizations and the government coming together is imperative when it comes to providing a good place for homeless veterans to live. Even just one abandoned home being renovated can do good for both the entire block and veterans. Positive changes simply beget positive changes in a ripple effect that encourages neighbors to start caring more for their homes too.
Saving Old Houses Saves a Community
No home stays the same forever. A house’s footprint can change dramatically over time. This is especially true when a home has seen damage whether it’s from water, the elements, or just age. From fire damage to foreclosures, there is still room for inspiration.
Aspects such as water damage restoration help to fully transform an abandoned home along with other whole home renovation projects. Being able to save an older house can literally save a community. Giving that home to a homeless veteran saves lives, as well.
Abandoned Property Needs to Be Assessed for a Whole Home Renovation
Residential home remodeling of any type doesn’t happen without an assessment of the house. Inspectors need to check the property from top to bottom. Only then will they be able to assimilate a plan to renovate necessary elements from the roof to the substrate.
A whole home renovation for abandoned property is a serious project. Non-profit organizations have contacts to execute proper repairs and replacements. Together, they will evaluate the assessment results can create a plan of action. What does it take to renovate a whole home? Continue reading to see how different projects come together to create homes for homeless veterans.
Roofs Are an Important Whole Home Renovation Element
Roofs are one of the primary aspects that should be considered for a whole home renovation. Does the roof need roof repairs? A roofing service will determine if repairs are necessary or if the entire roof needs to be replaced. Local roofers used by non-profit organizations will ensure the best type of roofing is used that offers superior protection.
Plumbing Is an Important Factor
Of course, abandoned homes have plumbing. However, the plumbing may not have had working water for years. It depends on how long the home was abandoned and when utilities were actually shut off. It stands to reason that an abandoned home will need plumbing repair. The pipes definitely will need to be tested to see if they can tolerate water pressure and usage. Plumbing fixtures, pipes, the toilet, sink, and tub as well as other elements will be repaired or replaced.
A Whole Home Renovation Leads to Energy Efficiency
It wouldn’t do any good to renovate an abandoned home without door and window replacements. Doors and windows are typically the culprits that allow air to escape and enter a home if they are not installed correctly. When the windows and doors are replaced, it will cost less in utility bills and make the house more energy-efficient.
Heating and Air Can Also Improve Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency can also be improved with HVAC repairs. Most home renovations include checking the efficiency of the heating and cooling elements. Chances are if the HVAC hasn’t been used, or stolen, it’s going to need to be repaired and most likely replaced. Installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system is another step forward when it comes to a whole home renovation for homeless veterans.
Enhanced Kitchen Features Are Integral
One of the most used rooms in any home is the kitchen. Kitchen remodeling puts a focus on updating an older kitchen with improvements that could include modern kitchen countertops. Every effort is made to get the kitchen into the best possible condition.
Those efforts include replacing or adding plumbing and replacing appliances with more efficient appliances that work. The project is kept entirely practical concerning designing a kitchen around supply routes too. Everything from lighting to cabinetry, sinks, and countertops will be addressed.
Small Projects Lead to a Whole Home Renovation
Non-profit organizations know how to tackle a whole home renovation for homeless veterans best. It’s not about getting all of the work done as one humongous project. It’s about pulling volunteers and organizations together to start renovations with small projects. The outcome is more effective.
When it comes to a whole home renovation, not project is actually too small in size. Projects such as replacing flooring are tackled as a singular project that’s part of the entire renovation. It all adds up to a total renovation that makes an abandoned home livable for homeless veterans.
The Singleton Bill Is at the Core of it All
In New Jersey, the Singleton bill started it all. The bill itself, as a pilot program, has authorized grants to rehabilitate abandoned homes for veterans who are homeless. It is a great effort that goes a long way in combating veteran homelessness within New Jersey.
The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed bipartisan legislation by Senator Kristin M. Corrado and Senator Troy Singleton to expand the pilot program to go a step further. Now the bill has the authorization to purchase as well as rehabilitate abandoned homes with the goal of giving homes to veterans that are out on the streets.
The New Jersey Housing Assistance for Veterans Act established the current program that gives eligible non-profit organizations grants to rehabilitate primary homes of low-income or disable veterans. The bill, called S1746, amends the Act and expands it to include the purchase of abandoned homes along with the rehabilitations so homeless veterans can have a place to live. It’s a step forward in giving veterans who need it, the home they deserve.
Community Leaders and Policymakers Make a Commitment to Transformation for Veterans
Community leaders and policymakers have committed themselves to make a transformation concerning how they intervene when it comes to abandoned properties and turning them into vibrant living spaces. The mission is to give homeless veterans a home. They go from serving and protecting the country and then to being forced to live on the streets in many cases.
Veterans pay the ultimate sacrifice and spend time away from friends and families to work in the defense of the country and freedom. Now they are able to get the assistance they need during economic times that are trying. Abandoned properties are being restored into safe, secure, and livable homes for the men and women that deserve it the most, homeless veterans.
This type of help is also beneficial to communities. Renovated homes rehabilitate the entire community one abandoned home at a time. The bill gives non-profit veterans’ organizations the ability to rehabilitate housing for veterans that are homeless. Eligible veterans can apply for a grant to purchase and rehabilitate an abandoned home. Nonprofit organizations serving the community via homeless services are prioritized.
Abandoned Homes Provide a Challenge and Opportunity
Vacant and abandoned property is always going to present a challenge that doesn’t lessen. The rare exception is when non-profit organizations and the government get together to approach the challenge of homelessness for veterans. It turns abandoned property into hope for the future. It’s about putting an end to the perpetuated cycle of neglect where veterans are concerned. It’s also about uplifting communities, reducing crime rates, as well as all of the other negative attributes that come with living next to vacant and abandoned property.
Shifting Perceptions Create a Comprehensive Strategy for Homeless Vets
What was once a scattered and piecemeal approach has turned into a sure-fire, comprehensive strategy. There is hope. Instead of abandoned and vacant homes eroding the social and economic fabric of communities, they are being transitioned into a healthy living space. America is making history when it comes to supporting homeless veterans.
No community is immune from the threats of vacancy, foreclosures, and abandonment. The magnitude of this crisis has finally been met with a bill that ensures communities are being rebuilt and homes are provided for homeless veterans. A wave of productive energy has been unleashed by the government, local governments, communities, non-profit organizations, and development corporations all ready to confront the homeless crisis for veterans in their community.