News Item

Reichert, Walz Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Support Homeless Veterans

Housing for Heroes Act increases housing option for veterans

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Washington, D.C., May 18, 2012 | Natasha Mayer ((202) 225-7761) | comments

U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (WA-8) and Tim Walz  (MN-1) today introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to enable non-profit organizations that serve homeless veterans to participate in the primary Veterans Affairs grant program that supports housing and other facilities for homeless veterans.

The Housing for Heroes Act (H.R. 5830) ensures that more non-profits serving veterans have access to compete for federal resources designated to combat veterans’ homelessness. Current law prevents non-profits that use the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to shelter the homeless from competing for Veterans’ Affairs Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD) resources, solely because of how the tax credit is administered. This fix will allow these non-profits to put roofs over the heads of those who have risked their lives for our freedom and now find themselves homeless. It is estimated that 67,495 veterans are homeless, a disproportionate share of the population.

“After everything that our veterans have done for our country, it is our duty to eliminate barriers to assisting them,” said Rep. Reichert. “This is a solution that will enable more non-profit organizations to take advantage of existing grants and give our homeless veterans additional housing options. Our veterans deserve safe and healthy places to live and we’re going to make that easier for them.”

“We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to take care of our brave service members when they get home,” said Rep. Walz, a 24 year veterans of the Army National Guard. “After the sacrifices they’ve made for our nation, it is the least we can do. This legislation simply lifts barriers to existing grants and will work to improve the quality of life for homeless veterans—to put a roof over their head and ensure they are getting the assistance and care they have earned and deserve.”

“Our veterans fight a war abroad. Why should they have to fight another war at home?  Over 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night,” said Sharon H. Lee, Executive Director of the Low Income Housing Institute of Seattle, WA. “We applaud Congressman Reichert as his bill is sorely needed and will allow more homeless veterans to benefit from the V.A.’s largest housing initiative, the Grant and Per Diem Program.“

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Tags: Veterans