National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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Congressional Update

NCHV reports on legislation in the United States Congress that would significantly impact veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This page lists bills that were introduced in the 112th Congress, which convened in January 2011 and completed in January 2013. Each bill number links to its summary page on the Library of Congress website, where the bill's full text and record of congressional action can be accessed.

These bills are now inactive; for active legislation, click here.

For more information on legislation in general, go to http://thomas.loc.gov.

  • To contact your Senator, click here.
  • To contact your Congressperson, click here.
  • To review homeless veterans legislation in the 111th Congress, click here.
     

House of Representatives bills

H.R. 136 - To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless veterans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)
Status: Referred to House subcommittee; referred to the Subcommittee on Health (2/18/11)

  • Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow individual taxpayers to designate on their tax returns $3 of income taxes ($6 in the case of joint returns) to provide assistance to homeless veterans.

H.R. 287 - Homes for Heroes Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Status: Referred to House subcommittee; referred to the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity (3/23/11)

  • 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. 806 - End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
Status: Referred to House subcommittee; referred to the Subcommittee on Health (3/15/11)

  • Increases GPD authorization to $200 million in FY 2011.
  • Changes GPD reimbursement from a "per diem" to an annual cost of providing services.
  • Requires each VA medical center providing case management services through the HUD-VASH program to hire a specialist to handle housing issues, including:
    • Outreach to landlords
    • Mediation of veteran/landlord disputes.
    • Establishing and maintaining a list of available rental units.
  • Authorizes $100 million by FY 2014 for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.
  • Promotes awareness of VA programs to assist homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.

H.R. 1133 - Helping Our Homeless Veterans Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
Status: Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health (4/1/11), as well as the Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity (4/4/11)

  • Authorizes VA to enter into agreements with organizations to collaborate in the provision of case management services to veterans in the HUD-VASH program.

H.R. 1460 - To provide for automatic enrollment of veterans returning from combat zones into the VA medical system, and for other purposes
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY)
Action: Subcommittee Hearings Held (4/16/12)

  • Provides for automatic enrollment of veterans returning from combat zones into the VA medical system

H.R. 1627 - Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Action: Passed the Senate with an amendment and an amendment to the title by unanimous consent (7/18/12)

Read NCHV's write-up on this bill's Senate passage here.

  • Increases the authorization for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program to $300 million in FY 2013.
  • Reauthorizes the VA's Enhanced Use Lease program, modifying the previous authority in part by limiting leases to programs that serve homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.
  • Requires VA to study and improve the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program reimbursement method.
  • Reauthorizes the GPD Program at $250 million in FY 2013, then at $150 million in each FY thereafter.
  • Reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) at $50 million in FY 2013.
  • Expands VA’s Special Needs Grant Program to include male homeless veterans with minor dependents.
  • Reauthorizes the Special Needs program at $5 million in FY 2013.

H.R. 3723 - Enhanced Veteran Healthcare Experience Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Robert Schilling (R-IL)
Action: Subcommittee Hearings Held (4/16/12)

  • Replaces VA’s fee-based care system with the contract-based “veterans enhanced care program.”
  • Allows qualified service providers to enter into contracts with VA to serve eligible veterans in areas that are underserved by VA facilities.

H.R. 3895 - Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Action: Referred to House committee; referred to the House Committee on the Budget (2/3/12)

  • Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to exclude veterans' medical care accounts from the maximum 2% permissible reduction in budget authority pursuant to a sequestration order.

H.R. 4079 - Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans Act
Sponsor: Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)
Action: Subcommittee Hearings Held (4/16/12)

  • Establish as federal law the existing GPD capital grant regulations require compliance with the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association, as well as local and state codes and licensing requirements.

H.R. 4287 - To expand the definition of homeless veteran for purposes of benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Sponsor: Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Action: Referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (3/28/12)

  • Expands VA’s definition of “homeless veteran” – for the purpose of benefits eligibility – to include a veteran or veteran’s family fleeing domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions in the current housing situation, including where the health and safety of children are jeopardized, there is no other residence, and there is a lack of resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

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Senate bills

S. 411 - Helping Our Homeless Veterans Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Status: Hearing held by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (6/8/11)

  • Authorizes VA to enter into agreements with organizations to collaborate in the provision of case management services to veterans in the HUD-VASH program.

S. 1060 - Honoring All Veterans Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Action: Hearing held by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (6/8/11)

  • Changes GPD reimbursement from a "per diem" to an annual cost of providing services.
  • Extends enhanced protections for servicemembers relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosure.

S. 1148 - Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Action: Hearing held by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (6/8/11)

For a full overview of S. 1148, which contains several important provisions, read NCHV's testimony submitted for the committee's record by clicking here (PDF).

  • Reauthorizes critical programs such as the following:
    • DOL-VETS Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).
    • VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD), as well as the related Special Needs grant program.
    • VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program.
  • Orders VA to study and restructure the GPD reimbursement rate.
  • Expands the VA Special Needs grant program to include male homeless veterans with minor dependents, as well as allowing dependents of all veterans in those programs to receive services directly.

S. 1806 - To amend the Internal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate overpayments of tax as contributions to the homeless veterans assistance fund
Sponsor: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Action: Hearing held by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (6/27/12)

  • Establishes the Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund in the Treasury
  • Allows individual taxpayers to designate a portion of their tax overpayments to the above fund, which would supplement proven federal programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families

S. 2322 - Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Action: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, Calendar No. 359 (4/19/12)

  • Provides $75 million to fund approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers

S. 3308 - To improve the furnishing of benefits for homeless veterans who are women or who have dependents
Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
Action: Hearing held by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (6/27/12)

  • Enables veterans' dependents to directly receive services through the GPD Program.
  • Sets aside at least 15 percent of the annual expenditure on GPD Program Capital grants for the Special Needs Grant Program.

S. 3309 - Homeless Veterans Assistance Improvement Act of 2012
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Action: Hearing held by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (6/27/12)

Read NCHV's written testimony on this bill here (PDF).

  • Allows Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program Capital Grant recipients to compete for funding to maintain their facilities.
  • Sets aside at least 1% of SSVF Program funding for providers that will provide "legal services to assist the veteran family with issues that interfere with the family's ability to obtain or retain housing or supportive services."
  • Enables veterans' dependents to directly receive services through the GPD Program.
  • Expands VA authority to provide homeless veteran dental care to HUD-VASH voucher holders.
  • Reauthorizes the GPD Program at $250 million in FY 2013, then $150 million for each fiscal year thereafter.
  • Reauthorizes the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program at $300 million in FY 2013.
  • Reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) at $50 million in FY 2013.

S. 3049 - To expand the definition of homeless veteran for purposes of benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Sponsor: Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Action: Referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (5/9/12)

  • Expands VA’s definition of “homeless veteran” – for the purpose of benefits eligibility – to include a veteran or veteran’s family fleeing domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions in the current housing situation, including where the health and safety of children are jeopardized, there is no other residence, and there is a lack of resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

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