Reps. Beatty, Stivers Reintroduce Bill to Incentivize Assistance for Homeless Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) reintroduced the Housing Our Military Servicemembers (HOMeS) Act, H.R. 715, to help ensure veterans are not condemned to homelessness.
By adding “former servicemembers” to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) list of subpopulations eligible for homeless assistance, community organizations and local government agencies will have access to additional funds to address veteran homelessness.
“It is unconscionable that any veteran should find themselves living on the streets. Yet, this is an all-too common, unfortunate reality for many,” Beatty said. “That is why I have joined Congressman Stivers in this bipartisan effort to reintroduce the Housing Our Military Servicemembers Act to take an important step toward ensuring that all of our nation’s former servicemembers have a safe place to call, ‘Home Sweet Home.’”
“Veteran homelessness is a chronic problem in our nation, and I am grateful to the many organizations in our communities that are working to get our servicemen and women off the streets,” Stivers said. “The HOMeS Act will not solve the problem, but it is an important step forward and it demonstrates our commitment to helping those housing grantees complete their mission.”
The HOMeS Act seeks to modify HUD’s homeless assistance statutes by adding “former servicemembers” as a subpopulation. This change would qualify former servicemembers for rehousing incentive payments, thus allowing HUD to incentivize and reward housing grantees that specifically work to aid homeless veterans.
Housing grantees compete for “bonus” funding from HUD in order to help house designated subpopulations. By altering the U.S. Code to explicitly include former servicemembers as an eligible subpopulation, the HOMeS Act will help increase veterans’ profile for HUD homeless housing incentives.
In addition, the HOMeS Act directs HUD to formulate a strategy to eliminate homelessness impacting former servicemembers who are not eligible for assistance offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
It has been a decade since the VA made its public commitment to end homelessness among veterans. In that time, significant progress has been made in communities around the country, including in Central Ohio, thanks to the hard work of community shelter leaders, non-profits, and government agencies.
However, eradicating this problem requires addressing the specific challenges facing individuals who are not eligible for the primary VA homeless assistance programs, like Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing HUD-VASH. The reporting requirements found in the HOMeS Act will help shed light on this subpopulation and lead to further solutions specific to those individuals.
H.R. 715 has been referred to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, where it awaits further consideration.