Wicker unveils bill to end backlog of State Veterans Home construction projects

Legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) would provide $500 million in federal funding to address the current backlog of State Veterans Home (SVH) construction projects. 

“Our nation’s veterans deserve the best possible support to meet their needs, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” Sen. Wicker said on Feb. 17. “Eliminating the current backlog of State Veterans Home projects would provide critical upgrades to veteran housing across the nation, ensuring our former service members have safe and modern facilities to minimize transmission of infectious diseases and improve quality of care for years to come.”

To resolve the backlog, Sen. Wicker on Feb. 12 introduced the State Veterans Homes Relief Act of 2021, S. 330, to appropriate the monies to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which would fund SVH construction projects approved prior to the date of the bill’s enactment, according to the congressional record bill summary.

The State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program, a partnership between the VA and the states, constructs, renovates and repairs state-owned and operated nursing homes, domiciliaries, and adult day healthcare facilities. Sen. Wicker’s home state of Mississippi has four SVH properties located in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko, and Oxford. Each serves approximately 600 veterans, according to the senator’s office.

With just $90 million appropriated for SVH projects this fiscal year, several grants for projects across the nation, including the Gulfport State Veterans Home in Mississippi, have been approved for construction, but await funding, says Sen. Wicker’s office.