On January 9, Representative Al Green (D-TX) introduced two bills to address the housing needs of veterans.
H.R. 251, the “Homes for Heroes Act of 2015,” would establish the position of Special Assistant for Veterans’ Affairs at HUD. The bill would also require annual submission of the Supplemental Veterans’ Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). While the current Administration has submitted a Veterans’ AHAR annually, the veteran component of the AHAR is not mandated by law. The measure, which currently has 17 cosponsors, was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The bill was introduced in the 113th Congress and passed the House by a vote of 420 to 3, but was never taken up by the Senate and thus died at the end of last Congress.
H.R. 252, the “Comprehensive Homes for Heroes Act of 2015,” would authorize the HUD Secretary to provide assistance to nonprofits and consumer cooperatives to expand the supply of supportive housing for very low income veteran households. The assistance authorized under the bill could be awarded as planning grants, capital advance funds, project-based rental assistance, or tenant-based rental assistance. The measure would exclude veterans' benefits from income for purposes of rent determination for HUD-assisted housing. As with H.R. 251, the bill would create the position of Special Assistant for Veterans’ Affairs at HUD and require annual submission of the Veterans’ AHAR. This bill also was introduced in the 113th Congress, but did not advance out of committee. H.R. 252 currently has 18 cosponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Representative Green’s media release is at http://algreen.house.gov/press-release/congressman-al-green-introduces-legislation-assist-homeless-veterans-0