National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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Congressional Update

111th Congress Hot Topics

In order to keep the public better informed and aware about what is being done to help the men and women who served our country, NCHV reports on legislation that impacts homeless veterans and service providers.

Listed below are bills currently before the 111th Congress that, if enacted, would have a significant impact on homeless veterans. Along with a brief summary of the bill’s intent is information about who introduced the bill; where it currently stands; and any future actions, such as hearings or votes, that have been scheduled.

As the end of the second session nears, NCHV has set its sights on two major homeless veteran bills: S. 1237, the Homeless Veterans and Other Veterans Health Care Authorities Act of 2010, and H.R. 4810, the End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010. Passage of these bills is crucial to effectively ending veteran homelessness in five years. More information on these two bills can be found here (PDF).

For detailed information about these bills, click the bill numbers in the list below. For information on any other legislation, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.


House Bills

H.R. 147 - "… to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless veterans…”
Introduced by: Steve Israel (D-NY)
Status: Hearings held by House Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (March 4, 2009)

  • Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless veterans.

H.R. 295 - More Training for Veterans Act of 2009
Introduced by: Steve Buyer (R-IN)
Status: Referred to House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Competitiveness

  • Amends the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to authorize appropriations of $20 million for each fiscal year for veterans' workforce investment programs.

H.R. 403 - Homes for Heroes Act of 2009
Introduced by: Al Green (D-TX)
Action: PASSED BY HOUSE (June 16, 2009)
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

  • Expands the supply of supportive housing for very low-income veteran families.
  • Authorizes an annual budget increase needed to provide 20,000 additional rental vouchers each fiscal year.
  • Extends VA-supported housing – which is currently limited to homeless veterans with chronic mental illness or chronic substance use disorders – to all homeless veterans.

H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
Introduced by: John Boozman (R-AR)
Action: PASSED BY HOUSE (March 30, 2009)
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

  • Reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. The bill was amended to authorize an additional $10 million to provide dedicated services for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children. Grants would be made available to provide job training, counseling, placement services, and child care services to expedite the reintegration of veterans into the labor force.

H.R. 2504 - "…to provide for an increase in the annual amount authorized… to carry out comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.”
Introduced by: Harry Teague (D-NM)
Action: House Subcommittee on Health mark-up session held, bill reported unanimously (Oct. 22, 2009)
Status: Forwarded to Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

  • Provides for increased authorization from $150 million to $200 million to be appropriated for comprehensive service programs (VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program) for homeless veterans.

H.R. 2559 - Help Our Homeless Veterans Act
Introduced by: Phil Hare (D-IL)
Action: House Subcommittee on Health mark-up session held, bill reported unanimously (Oct. 22, 2009)
Status: Forwarded to Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

  • Directs the VA Secretary to carry out a national media campaign directed at homeless veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless.

H.R. 2735 - "… to make certain improvements to the comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.”
Introduced by: Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
Action: House Subcommittee on Health mark-up session held, bill reported unanimously (Oct. 22, 2009)
Status: Forwarded to Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

  • Makes certain improvements to the comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans, such as:
    • Creating a separate grant fund for service center personnel.
    • Changing the rate of payment from a per diem daily cost of care to an annual cost of providing services.
    • Allowing the VA to increase the rate of payment to reflect the cost of providing services.
    • Allowing providers to use per diem funds to match other funding sources.

H.R. 3219 – Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010
Introduced by: Bob Filner (D-CA)
Status: BECAME PUBLIC LAW NO: 111-275 (Oct. 13, 2010)

  • Reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program through FY 2011.
  • Authorizes $1 million for FY 2011-2015 for the “homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children reintegration grant program.”

H.R. 3906 – “… to authorize appropriations for the VA program to provide financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.”
Introduced by: Harry Teague (D-NM)
Status: Referred to House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (Oct. 22, 2009)

  • Increases the authorization for VA to provide financial assistance for supportive services to prevent homelessness from $50 million to $100 million by FY 2014 and thereafter.

H.R. 4810 – End Veterans Homelessness Act of 2010
Introduced by: Bob Filner (D-CA)
Action: PASSED BY HOUSE (March 22, 2010)
Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (March 23, 2010)

  • Contains provisions from H.R. 2504; H.R. 2559, as amended; H.R. 2735, as amended; and H.R. 3906.
  • Increases GPD funding to $200 million in FY 2010.
  • Changes the rate of GPD payment from a “per diem” to an annual cost of providing services.
  • Provides financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing – $100 million by FY 2014 and thereafter.
  • Ensures that VA medical centers participating in the HUD-VASH program employ or provide one or more specialists, who will perform the following duties:
    • Conduct outreach to landlords.
    • Mediate disputes between veterans and landlords.
    • Establish and maintain a list of available rental units.
    • Carry out other appropriate activities.
  • Coordinates assistance for homeless veterans through HUD’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).


Senate Bills

S. 252 - Veterans Health Care Authorization Act of 2009
Introduced by: Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Status: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders - No. 128 (July 24, 2009)

  • Establishes a five-year pilot program to coordinate the provision of supportive services to very low-income, formerly homeless veterans who reside in permanent housing, including permanent housing on property that was once part of a military installation.
  • Establishes a five-year pilot program to inform low-income and elderly veterans and their spouses who reside in rural areas of the veterans’ pension benefits for which they may be eligible.

S. 1160 - Homes for Heroes Act of 2009
Introduced by: Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (June 1, 2009)

  • Expands the supply of supportive housing for very low-income veteran families (that is, families with incomes not exceeding 50% of the area median income).
  • Amends the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 to (1) make housing rental vouchers available to all homeless veterans, regardless of medical condition, and (2) include veterans in public housing planning.

S. 1237 - Homeless Veterans and Other Veterans Health Care Authorities Act of 2010
Introduced by: Patty Murray (D-WA)
Action: Reported favorably with amendments by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs (April 29, 2010)
Status: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders (April 29, 2010)

  • Contains provisions of S. 1547 (Zero Tolerance Act).
  • Expands the Grant and Per Diem Program by including male homeless veterans with minor dependents as a new category.
  • Creates a program, authorized at $10 million, to provide employment assistance to women veterans and women veterans with dependent children.

S. 1366 - "… to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless veterans…”
Introduced by: Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Finance (June 25, 2009)

  • Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless veterans.

S. 1547 - Zero Tolerance for Veterans Homelessness Act of 2009
Introduced by: Jack Reed (D-RI)
Status: Hearings held by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (Oct. 21, 2009)

  • Expands HUD-VASH to a total of 60,000 housing vouchers for veterans with serious mental and emotional illnesses.
  • Authorizes up to $50 million annually to provide supportive services for low-income veterans to reduce their risks of becoming homeless, and to help those who are find housing.
  • Increases the annual Grant and Per Diem Program authorization to $200 million.

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