Report: Other Suggested Initiatives

Report: Other Suggested Initiatives

Outside of the previously mentioned initiatives and suggestions, respondents offered the suggestions listed below.

Affordable Housing

  • There are not enough affordable housing options for Veterans in NYC. Some of the new developments do not currently offer lottery preference to veterans (such as Hunters Point South.) The housing connect website, set up to make applying for affordable housing easier, asks for veteran status. However, when it asks about disability it only gives three options: mobility impaired, deaf, and blind. How would disabled veterans with PTSD or TBI receive preference under those categories? This issue greatly affects the quality of life for vets in NYC.
  • I would like to see NYC government provide more guidance and support on the VA mortgage loan process, and promote affordable houses for veterans in the five boroughs. Rents are skyrocketing and I don't think there are any programs to help veterans buy properties in NYC. That program would greatly help veterans find affordable houses.
  • Access to housing in NYC is essential for veterans, especially given the high cost of living in the city.
  • My husband and I would like to see the City make purchasing an apartment or Co-op using a VA home loan easier than it is today. Currently, there are only a handful of VA approved apartment buildings throughout the 5 boroughs! I think this would benefit many veterans in the NYC community... Purchasing an apartment or co-op would be much more financially realistic vs. trying to buy a house within one of the boroughs.
  • Need more affordable/free housing for the veterans.
  • Need more housing for veterans with families...and subsidies for this group!

Vending Licenses

  • I would like to bring to your attention the ongoing non-enforcement of general merchandise vending laws specifically in the midtown core of Manhattan (the area bordering 30th St to 65th St., from 2nd Ave to 9th Ave). Contrasted by the harassment leveled onto the legally licensed Disabled Veterans and their needed helpers. At issue are the multitude of vendors who are violating the laws restricting them to working outside of the midtown core, which is designated for "Disabled Veterans" with legal "Specialized" Blue licenses.
  • I find it difficult with getting a mobile food vending license whereas every other foreign individual has access to these licenses in NYC. Just trying have an opportunity after serving 29 years and counting.
  • Eliminate the current General Business Law Article 4 section 35a. This Law is OFFENSIVE and DIVISIVE to Veteran Vendors.
  • I would like to see the city create a committee to help disabled veteran street vendors with the ignorance of the police pertaining to state law which governs disabled veteran vendors.
  • Enforce the law to eradicate rent-a-vets who lease their licenses and permits.

Employment

  • I proudly served and came home to NYC and had a lot of trouble finding a job. There should be a more efficient place for veterans to go to get help finding work as it is hard to translate to civilian world a lot of military job duties.
  • Would like to see veterans added to all existing non-civil service employment programs offered to minorities and women.
  • Better work force for veterans. Coming back from deployment it is very difficult to find a well-paying job which forces us soldiers to look forward on to another deployment. Leaving our families for better pay is very stressful not only on us veterans but our families as well.
  • The Mayor's Office and city agencies need to add more emphasis to hire veterans into city government for jobs that they are capable of to include experience received during military service.
  • I should like to see an investigation of the 55/B and C programs to see how many disabled veterans have gained employment! I would like to see an investigation of Voc. Rehab and Education to see what happens to veterans who have issues that cause difficulty in their transition to civilian life while going to school and their second chances!

Education

  • Giving Veterans more college credits for their time in service, especially in CUNY and SUNY Colleges. Eliminating the expiration of the GI Bill
  • ALSO critical and unmentioned are educational benefits/scholarships/grants via NY TAP fund, or any other external scholarship funds, and well as GI Bill housing--- a critical issue is how Post 9/11 veteran students are marginalized and prejudiced as "government assistance" due to their GI Bill and negatively affected when seeking any type of housing.
  • College Benefits for dependent children of Disabled Veterans not 100%
  • NEW YORK STATE VETERANS USING CHAP.31 BENEFITS (VOC REHAB) TO INCLUDE 'TRACK' TO NY STATE JOBS, NYC JOBS, AND GRADUATE STUDIES (MSci, MBA, ETC.). PROGRAM SHOULD BE MORE TRANSPARENT IN VETERAN'S GOALS; VETERANS ARE NOT MADE AWARE OF FULL SCOPE OF PROGRAM (COUNSELORS ARE DISINGENUOUS IN THEIR DISCUSSIONS, WITHHOLDING "GRADUATE SCHOOL" OPTION, ETC)

Other Health Services

  • More medical coverage...Tricare is a joke...the fees are outrageous.
  • Why not dental!!!!!!!
  • I am disappointed to not see any mention of women's health issues or Military Sexual Trauma/Military Gender-Based Violence advocacy mentioned here. Given the particular failings of this arena massively impacting current service members and veterans it should be a focal point with elected leaders.
  • A need for better defined addiction/recovery services for military members and their families.

Support for Veterans Family Members

  • It is also essential to take care of the veteran's immediate family members. The immediate family members must have priority benefits. If a couple have been legally married for all the veteran's service; service benefits should be in place (ID card, medical, dental, mental etc...). It's the least you can do after separating the family at given times. More must be done.

Improved Digital Coordination and Communication

  • Further support digital platforms like Unite Us. Make better linkages between veterans groups and NYC area National Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty military units. Create a quarterly newsletter with NYC area veterans-specific events.

Assistance with Veterans Parking / Tolls / Auto Registration

  • Parking placard similar to NYPD/FDNY for parking in the city, as continued professional courtesy. Lowering the toll payments for Military service members and civilians that work on the military installations in NYC.
  • Reduction of tolls on bridges.
  • Reduction of registration cost for car renewal.

Tax Reductions for Veterans

  • A one-time tax credit.
  • Drop the school tax insertion on real estate property tax. The veterans exemption is the ONLY tax exemption that is hit with a school tax penalty.
  • I would propose a segment of NYC taxes--on everything--go to fund all of the aforementioned. It is, essentially, a war tax used to care for those who served in volunteer military. Everyone has to have skin in the game. You need to create more civilian-military bridges...bridge the gap.
  • Real-estate tax reduction for co-ops.

Veterans Discounts

  • I would like to see more discounts available to veterans for social entertainment. We missed so much personal time as a family doing our service but now that we have the time we can't afford to spend to enjoy some of the attraction in this great city.
  • Discounted travel for active/reserve/guard service members that live and work in the NYC area.

Military Base Benefits for Veterans

  • I was insulted by a lady at the Brooklyn VA after I left the service and wanted to know why I could not continue to shop at the Fort Hamilton Commissary and PX. This is a big insult to veterans. It does not matter if you serve 1 day if you are a veteran you should have continued access to use these facilities. Not only veterans but if you serve your country you should get some benefit - continued shopping at these facilities is the least they can provide. I always wondered why most veterans and former military personnel are so angry....now I know why. We are treated like nothings....not all of us want to serve for twenty years. With the military downsizing, most soldiers are not going to get 20 years. It is a disgrace to serve your country and be treated as we are...like nothing....use us and then toss to the curb.

Tolerance for Expressions of Veteran Identity

  • I have served proudly for 22 years and have respected the uniform all of that time. Now I work in the maintenance field unrelated to the military field around soldiers who are performing their duties for Homeland Security and have been told that I am dishonoring soldiers because of the way I wear my ACU's with a retired patch and black boots. My job is not their job and respect should be shown at all cost to any or all individuals who want to show their pride. I believe that sensitivity training should be taught as to not impede on another person’s form of flag waving.

 

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