National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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Congressional Update

New Law Authorizes Program for Homeless Women Vets, Homeless Vets with Children
Posted: 10/19/2010

On Oct. 13, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 3219, the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, into law (Public Law No: 111-275). After passage by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 27, 2009, the U.S. Senate took up the bill and passed it by unanimous consent with an amendment on Sept. 28, 2010. The amendment included two significant homeless veterans provisions: The first reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) through fiscal year (FY) 2011; the second authorizes $1 million from FY 2011-2015 to provide dedicated services for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.

Both the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, led by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Reps. Bob Filner (D-CA) and Steve Buyer (R-IN), came to a “compromise agreement” that included these homeless veterans components. The amended language largely follows that of H.R. 1171, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. The major difference between the two is the authorization lengths and levels.

New Law Compared to H.R. 1171

  • The new law reauthorizes HVRP through FY 2011. H.R. 1171, the legislation from which the amendment was derived, would have reauthorized the program through FY 2014.
  • The new law authorizes $1 million for FY 2011-2015 for the “homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children reintegration grant program.” H.R. 1171 – as well as S. 1237, the Homeless Veterans and Other Veterans Health Care Authorities Act of 2010, which was denied multiple requests for passage by unanimous consent in the Senate – would have authorized ten times as much ($10 million per year) over the same length of time.

Congress should be commended for reauthorizing HVRP, as well as for its investment in homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children – two underserved, growing subgroups of homeless veterans. NCHV still hopes to see the original measures of H.R. 1171 signed into law and will continue to advocate on their behalf.


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