Bend, OR- Representative Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) was presented with the Oregon ON 2013 Housing Champion Award by Housing Works and Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON) this week for his work on the Veterans Housing Bill (HB 2417) during the 2013 legislative session. The bill dedicates a portion of the real estate document recording fees collected in Oregon toward a flexible funding stream that will assist in reducing veteran homelessness and provide valuable housing resources for veterans ready to step into homeownership.
"Representative Whisnant's leadership was crucial to the passage of the bill, which will provide critical resources to address the needs of Oregon's veterans," said Kenny LaPoint, Housing and Resident Services Director for Housing Works. "We, as a community, have an obligation to care for those who have put their lives on the line for our freedom."
"This military veterans' bill will provide the funds to help our veterans receive shelter and other housing needs," said Rep. Whisnant. "We can never thank our veterans and their families enough for the sacrifices they make for our nation. I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of all of Oregon's veterans."
Rep. Whisnant, a retired United States Air Force officer, has been a strong advocate for Oregon's military veterans and the sponsor of many veterans' support bills.
The Veterans Bill is expected to generate approximately $6 million by the end of 2015. These funds will be utilized statewide to provide veterans with emergency and supportive housing as well as resources to assist in building assets through homeownership.
"Oregon veterans and the Central Oregon community have been well represented in Salem by the work of Representative Whisnant. His dedication to caring for our veterans makes him more than deserving of the 2013 Housing Champion Award," LaPoint added.
Housing Works is the largest affordable housing provider in Central Oregon. It provides people with quality, safe and affordable homes; and through a number of collaborations, it provides the resources to help people stabilize their lives. Housing Works obtains public funding from federal, state and local governments and leverages these funds with private capital from local financial institutions and foundations to provide quality housing that meets communities' needs. For more information, visit www.housing-works.org.
Oregon ON is a statewide association of 200 community development organizations and individuals who provide housing and economic opportunities for working families, people with disabilities, and seniors in Oregon communities. For more information, visit www.oregonon.org.