What is Veterans Build?

Veterans Build is a national initiative that provides volunteer, homeownership, and employment opportunities to U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families.

San Diego County is home to one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country, which makes San Diego Habitat for Humanity geographically well suited to serve the needs of the veteran population. We serve local veterans through our VetRepair Program and Veterans Build events in which we partner with local organizations invested in San Diego’s veteran community. Together, we are working to make a difference at the homes of local veterans countywide.

The Veterans Build program takes different forms at various Habitat affiliates across the country, but focus on honoring our veterans for their service to our country and its citizens.

Why Veterans Build?

  • Expensive housing costs:
    Nearly 4 million veterans pay at least 30 percent of their income toward rent or mortgage, while more than 1.5 million pay at least 50 percent. Using half of your income to pay rent or mortgage is an enormous strain on any household budget.

  • Slow-growing economy:
    The most recent veterans — those who served following 9/11 — have returned to a slow-growing economy and rising housing costs. These economic factors have made the transition from military service to civilian life difficult for many.
  • Aging veteran population:
    The National Low Income Housing Coalition finds that 2.5 million veterans heading households are at least 55 years of age. Of those 2.5 million veterans, 24 percent have housing cost burdens. Older veterans are more likely than civilians to have a disability — 35 percent versus 28 percent — which may require health and safety home modifications and other supportive services as they age.

  • Gender inequities:
    Our country’s female veteran population is in need as well. According to a report by the National Housing Conference, nearly half of veterans who are single mothers spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Through Veterans Build, organizations and individuals who are invested in the quality of life of our veteran community are able to give back to the women and men who have served our country.

Quick facts:

  • Years as a Veterans Build affiliate:
    4

  • Veterans Build events hosted:
    10

Our national partners:

Our VetRepair program aims to provide stability for veteran homeowners.

learn more about vetrepair

Event Recap

January 2020

San Diego Habitat hosted Winter Ops, a training conference organized by Habitat for Humanity International, for 11 affiliates adopting the Veterans Build program. Six current Veterans Build affiliates joined the new affiliates and national partners to share resources and best practices to better understand military culture, what it means to serve veterans, and how to collaborate with federal, state, and local governments and organizations whose values align with serving veterans.

In addition to the learning opportunities during the two-day conference, a team of 22 attendees worked together on a home preservation project at one of our VetRepair homes in the College Area, near SDSU.

view 2020 event photos
November 2019

San Diego Habitat hosted a Veterans Build event in partnership with BAE Systems. Volunteers from BAE Systems spent the day installing drought resistant landscaping at the home of Bentley, a veteran in El Cajon. We partnered with Studio Nectary to execute their urban landscape vision, created especially for this special project.