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State Lawmaker Wants Vets To Get Preferences From Public Housing Authorities

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A day before the nation pays tribute to its veterans, a lawmaker is calling on the state to help the men and women of the armed forces.

"Given the incredible sacrifice which has been made by our men and women in the armed forces, who have bravely served during a time of war, we must honor their service in as many ways as possible," Sen. Tony Avella said.

Avella, of Queens, is calling on the legislature in Albany to pass a bill requiring public housing authorities across the state to grant a preference to men and women who served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1010 WINS' Stan Brooks with Sen. Tony Avella


He says it was done during the Vietnam War era and should be done again.

"This may be a small step but it's an important step," Avella said. "So many veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan may not have a place to live, they may not have a job and providing an affordable housing alternative for them is extremely important."

Avella said homelessness among existing veterans in New York City is an acute problem.

Charities, such as Help USA, are doing their part to make sure returning veterans have homes and jobs.

An affordable housing complex is being built in East New York and 49 of the 98 units are being made available to homeless Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with disabilities.

Disabled vets who are in need of a home should go to to find out if they are eligible. Those who qualify and are accepted can start moving in as soon as next month.

Help USA is a charity that touts itself as the leading national developer of housing and provider of jobs and services for the homeless.

Also, a new program called "Supportive Services for Veterans Families" will provide assistance to any low-income veteran in New York City who is at risk of homelessness.

Through this, veterans can, among other things, get help finding job training programs and fight eviction.

For more information click here.

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