New Research Shows Housing Issues Can be Tackled by Focusing on Veterans First

November 9, 2018 - (2 min read)

LOS ANGELES — November 9, 2018 — Today, the National League of Cities (NLC), thanks to support from The Home Depot Foundation, released a major study indicating that cities can most effectively meet the housing needs of seniors by focusing on veterans first. Data from “Veterans First: An Approach to Meet the Housing Needs of Seniors” reveal that helping aging and disabled veterans stay in their homes can improve the ability of local leaders to meet the housing needs of all seniors.

“Veterans have sacrificed so much to defend everything our country stands for, and this research shows the critical need for cities to, in turn, support them,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC). “Everyone deserves the chance to age in place, in their own communities and in their own homes. Because of this new research, we now have a much clearer understanding of how to do this for not only veterans, but for all seniors in cities across the country.”

Similarly, in analyzing census data from 39 cities across the country, NLC’s report finds that cities can also make progress on meeting the housing needs of all seniors by again focusing on the needs of veterans first.

Compared to non-veterans, the report found that veterans are older, more likely to have a disability, and are more likely to own their home. These findings and the availability of specific resources to help veterans make home repairs and modifications provide city leaders with the information and ability to improve how communities meet the housing needs of senior veterans. As cities improve how they meet the housing needs of senior veterans, this progress can be extended to the larger non-veteran senior population.

Recommendations for cities looking to implement this approach include:

  1. Asking the right questions to identify veterans in the community
  2. Expanding the number of community partners working to identify veterans
  3. Gathering the appropriate stakeholders to improve how services and information are coordinated

You can read the full report here.


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.