Exploring Transportation, Employment, Housing, and Location Issues for New Jersey Veterans with Disability
Stephanie DiPetrillo and Andrea Lubin, 119 pages. November 2014.
Working-age veterans with disability face myriad responsibilities when they seek to rejoin civilian life. They must secure housing and employment while coping with health care concerns and one or more disabilities. Access to transportation – particularly public transportation and paratransit options – is truly a lynchpin that impacts their ability to meet these diverse needs successfully. Too often, however, transportation issues are not adequately considered in veteran reintegration planning. More than 21 million veterans live in the United States, and one-quarter describe themselves as living with a disability, according to the American Community Survey. New evidence suggests that these figures may underrepresent the population affected with disability, particularly regarding veterans of recent military conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This report explores the intersection among transportation, housing, and employment to successful veteran reintegration. The authors gained insight through interviews convened with diverse stakeholders from the U.S. and New Jersey veteran community, as well as from focus group work with veterans with disability. The authors conclude that pursuit of transit-oriented development (TOD) for this population in both suburban and urban locales is an excellent model to consider for further replication throughout the U.S. as one means to help address veteran housing, employment, and other reintegration demands within a context that acknowledges transportation needs and the benefits associated with locational efficiency.