PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey sent a letter to the VA on Friday asking the agency to make the construction of two Arizona veterans homes a priority.

The prospective homes built in Yuma and Flagstaff would serve a total of 120 veterans to start and double the number of homes in the state.

Ducey wrote the homes were needed because some veterans in rural areas live too far from other facilities.

“Both locations would serve rural veteran populations that are located more than 100 miles from an existing veteran home,” Ducey wrote in the letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin.

Ducey asks VA to prioritize building homes for Arizona veterans

Ducey asks VA to prioritize building two homes for Arizona veterans

The governor wrote the homes were on hold because, while Arizona had designated $19.2 million to build them, it was waiting on matching funds from the VA.

“As you know, the longer it takes to break ground on these projects, the more expensive they become,” Ducey wrote. “The sooner we can secure these dollars, the sooner we can ensure our veterans are repaid for the service provided to our great nation.”

Ducey wrote that the state would face a 1,200-bed shortage within the next three years without the new facilities.

He also wrote Arizona was interested in funding for a third home in the northwestern portion of the state.