Representative Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced the Helping Our Homeless Veterans Act of 2011, H.R. 1133, on March 16, a companion bill to S. 441, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on February 17. H.R. 1133 would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to collaborate with states and nonprofits on case management service provision for veterans’ supported housing programs. The bill would also ensure distribution of rental assistance to veterans in rural areas.
The bill would enable VA to contract with nonprofit agencies, tribal organizations and state and local governments to provide case management services for veterans supported programs. This would increase case management for veterans living far from a VA medical center including veterans in rural areas, Indian lands or underserved metropolitan areas. Case management would include a range of services such as health care, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, family support, job training, transportation assistance, housing search assistance, rent subsidies, assistance working with public housing authorities, financial management assistance, and housing stability assistance among other services.
The VA and HUD would be required to ensure that the needs of veterans in rural areas, Indian lands and underserved metropolitan areas are met. The agencies would need to use statistical data and the recommendations of agencies receiving McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance grants to assess whether the voucher needs of veterans in these areas are being met.The bill was referred to the House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and the Financial Services