Veterans homes in limbo due to difficulty in getting funding

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Arizona's two veterans home -- one in Phoenix an the other in Tucson -- have a combined 320-bed capacity. (Source: Arizona Department of Veterans' Services) Arizona's two veterans home -- one in Phoenix an the other in Tucson -- have a combined 320-bed capacity. (Source: Arizona Department of Veterans' Services)
PHOENIX (AP) -

Difficulties in securing federal money for proposed veterans homes in Arizona has left the projects in limbo.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the state has set aside funding to cover some costs for new veterans homes in Yuma and Flagstaff.

But the rest of the money must be covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the federal funding has proven difficult to secure.

Veterans state homes are similar to nursing homes, with one big difference - the majority of the patients are veterans. Additionally, there is funding for care available to those who qualify.

The state budget in 2015 included $9.2 million for a new veterans state home in Yuma. In 2017, $10 million was designated to build a state home in Flagstaff.

Now, the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services has asked for $13 million more in their proposed 2018 budget for funding of another veterans state home in Mohave County.

The three homes together represent a 228-bed increase in Arizona's veterans state home capacity, which is currently at 320 beds -- 200 in Phoenix and 120 in Tucson.

Still, that's only a portion of Arizona's 1,200-bed deficiency, identified by Veterans Affairs.

The Flagstaff and Yuma homes have applied to Veterans Affairs for federal funding and been placed on a national ranking list of proposed projects.

However, there typically isn't enough money to fund everything on the list. In past years, Arizona projects have ranked in the 40s or 50s. Often only the top 10 or 15 get funded.


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