Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today sent a letter to Robert Wilkie, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to better understand why veteran homelessness in Iowa has increased in the past two years.

“[Housing] is one of the most basic needs of all individuals. In particular, we should have the right resources and policies in place to assist our veterans.  These brave men and women have given so much to our country through their service and sacrifice and they should have the security of a place to live. It is vital for the federal government to partner with states and local communities to find the most effective solutions to combat homelessness, especially among our veterans,” said Sens. Ernst and Grassley in their letter to Secretary Wilkie.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Annual Homeless Assessment Report, showed that the number of veterans who experience homelessness has decreased 5.4 percent since last year, falling to nearly half the number of homeless veterans in 2010.  In Iowa, however, veteran homelessness increased in the years 2017 and 2018. 

Sens. Grassley and Ernst commended the VA for “making inroads to address veterans’ homelessness,” while outlining questions to further understand how federal and state elected officials can work together to help Iowa “experience the type of results happening elsewhere across the nation.”