TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The state of Florida is on a mission to make sure more veterans have access to affordable housing.
Now, a new program will help veterans and active soldiers find a home and reduce the number of homeless vets. It launched Monday.
Florida Housing said they are expecting to serve over 1,000 veterans and active servicemen and women. Their goal is to give back to those who sacrificed for those of us at home.
"Just having one veteran homeless is too many," said Trey Price, the executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Over 2,000 of Florida's veterans experienced homelessness in 2019, according to the department of Veterans Affairs.
"We wanted to actually have a meaningful program that gives back to those who have given us so much," Price said.
Trey Price is talking about the Salute Our Soldiers Military Housing Loan Program, a partnership with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Housing.
The program has set aside $8 million to help servicemen and women with down payments and closing costs.
Tom Bradley with Big Bend Homeless Coalition says programs like these have worked for the Homeless Veterans Population in the Big Bend.
"We had about an 85 percent success rate," said Bradley.
Veterans can find out if they're eligible for the loan program wherever they bank.
"Half of the time they don't know what they are entitled to," Bradley said. "And when we interview them and screen them and look at the DDT-14, which is their service certificate, and we find out what they are eligible for programs, and fill out the application for them and it makes us really proud."
Florida Housing says with cost of living being a challenge this is "a great thing to do in honor of those folks who serve us."
They also said another plus for veterans is they have no first time home buyer requirement, and down payment loans will be forgiven for those on active duty who are deployed elsewhere.