- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- senate Committees
- The house Passed October 15th, 2019Roll Call Vote 408 Yea / 0 Nay
Economic OpportunityCommittee on Veterans' AffairsIntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 95?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 95
In-Depth: Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to support community agencies that help homeless veterans with children find safe places to live:
“As a nation, we have a sacred responsibility to help those who served in uniform. It is simply unacceptable that veterans with children are living out on the street or in other unsafe locations because the VA can’t reimburse community agencies for housing them. This is an issue that disproportionately impacts women veterans — the fastest-growing veteran population. It is imperative that we fix this issue and keep families together and safe, while providing the stable living situation imperative to setting the conditions for a fresh start.”
Last Congress, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ CEO, Kathryn Monet, expressed her organization’s support for this bill:
“Veterans who are homeless with their children have access to permanent housing supports through VA, but the affordable housing crisis our country is facing has lengthened the time it takes them to find appropriate housing with that support. They should not have to stay outside or in unsustainable situations during that period if we can offer them short term bridge housing to get themselves and their families off the street quickly. The [Homeless Veteran Families Act] would provide transitional housing programs funding and flexibility from the VA to provide this critical housing resource to homeless veterans and their families.”
This legislation passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity by voice vote with the support of 301 bipartisan cosponsors, including 200 Democrats and 101 Republicans. The Comitis Crisis Center has expressed its support for this legislation in the current Congress.
In the 115th Congress, this legislation had 237 bipartisan cosponsors, including 125 Democrats and 112 Republicans, and didn’t receive a committee vote. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, American Legion, The Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Got Your 6, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and American Veterans (AMVETS) expressed their support for this legislation.
Of Note: The VA GPD Program awards grants to community-based agencies that provide transitional housing and supportive services to help homeless veterans achieve residential stability and self-sufficiency. Currently, the VA lacks the statutory authority to provide reimbursements for the costs of services for veterans’ minor dependents. This means that GPD providers need to pay out of pocket for those services.
Consequently, some homeless shelters give preference to non-veteran homeless families because they get per diems for those minor dependents from the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the financial disincentive for shelters to provide housing to veterans and their children leads to limited housing for veterans and their children — a problem that disproportionately affects female veterans.
- Sponsoring Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) Press Release (116th Congress)
- Sponsoring Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) Press Release (115th Congress)
- CBO Cost Estimate
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / LucieHolloway)