California is home to nearly 1.8 million veterans, the largest veteran population in the nation. Nearly 15,000 California veterans experience homelessness on a given night, representing nearly 26 percent of the nation’s homeless veterans.  Of California’s veterans who rent and survive on extremely modest budgets, 79 percent are spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing, leaving very little left for other basic necessities.

Finding affordable homes can be extremely difficult for veterans, especially they have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, or live with mental-health issues. Remaining stably housed can be even more difficult. Oftentimes veterans need additional support (for example mental-health services) in order to live stable, healthy lives.

In addition to policy work on veterans' housing and homelessness, HCD administers the following programs:

In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 41, which modified the Veteran’s Bond Act of 2008, repurposing $600 million in unused homeownership bond funds to help veterans access affordable apartments. HCD, in collaboration with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California Housing Finance Agency, developed the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention program to help veterans who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

The first Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was released in February 2015 and a second released in October of 2015. Awards from the second NOFA funded approximately $116.1 million for 28 developments. These developments will provide a total of 1,833 units; 972 of which will be occupied by veterans and their families, including supportive housing units for homeless veterans and veterans with disabilities.

Learn more about the housing needs of veterans in California's Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.