2015-03-04 / Political Page

City Council Passes Vallone’s Veterans Reporting Bill


The City Council unanimously passed Councilman Paul Vallone’s bill that requires the reporting from certain city agencies of the number of veterans receiving their services. The City Council unanimously passed Councilman Paul Vallone’s bill that requires the reporting from certain city agencies of the number of veterans receiving their services. On February 26, the City Council unanimously passed Councilman Paul Vallone’s bill that requires the reporting from certain city agencies of the number of veterans receiving their services. The bill now goes to Mayor de Blasio to be signed into law. New York City is home to nearly 200,000 veterans, with many of those who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom soon to join this population. Many of these veterans will face challenges as they return home and readjust to civilian life and seek access to employment, education, and health services as well as other social support systems. Now that the city will be receiving the necessary data on the number of veterans receiving these benefits, it will be better equipped to efficiently provide the resources and support system to serve these men and women returning from active duty. Vallone’s bill requires the Mayor’s Office of Operations to report to the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs (MOVA), the city Veterans Advisory Board and the City Council several pieces of data. This data would include: the total number of Mitchell-Lama housing applications received from veterans or their surviving spouses; the total number of Mitchell- Lama housing applications approved by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for veterans or their surviving spouses; the total number of fee-exempt mobile food vending licenses and food vending permits issued by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to veterans; the number of general vending licenses issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to veterans; the total number of veterans who submitted an application to the DCA for a general vending license; the total number of veterans residing in the city who utilized a HUD-VASH voucher; and the total number of civil service examination applications received by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) for which the applicant claimed a veterans credit. “With the passage of my bill, we have taken a great stride toward ensuring that every veteran who returns to New York City is given every opportunity to prosper,” said Vallone. “The data we will now have will go a long way toward allowing the Council and Administration to make effective and fruitful efforts at ensuring that veterans are taking full advantage of the services offered to them. I am proud to have passed this legislation, and as a member of the Committee on Veterans, I look forward to continuing to fight for every veteran that calls New York City home.”

“We recognize the need to improve tools for identifying veterans and tracking needs, services, and outcomes,” stated Loree Sutton, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. “This data will provide a useful overview that will inform our actions, as well as provide insights for the other organizations whose services, support and advocacy encompass these domains.”

“In all the time I’ve known Councilmember Vallone, he has always been a strong advocate for veterans,” said Matthew Silverstein, Director of Public Affairs for America Works of New York. “His legislation passed by the City Council today is further proof to his commitment and I applaud him and the City Council for working hard to improve the lives of veterans.”

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