U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) introduced the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act, a bill to make needed changes to two programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prevent and decrease veteran homelessness.
“Every single veteran should have a place to call home,” said Rounds. “While we’ve made progress over the past decade at reducing the number of veterans experiencing homelessness, there are still too many vets without a roof over their heads. These are men and women who’ve served and sacrificed for us—they deserve every benefit they’ve earned. Our legislation seeks to make sure every veteran has the resources they need to find a home.”
“We owe an immense debt of gratitude to America’s veterans who put their lives at risk defending the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Loeffler. “It’s unacceptable that these heroes suffer from homelessness and lack access to resources they desperately need and earned. As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am proud to introduce the Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act to combat this serious issue and ensure no American hero spends another night without a roof over their heads.”
The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act would make improvements to the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program by:
- Requiring the VA to contract out vacant HUD-VASH caseworker positions to qualified community providers—if a VA Medical Center has not used more than 15 percent of its HUD-VASH voucher allocation in the previous year and has had a HUD-VASH case manager position vacant for over 9 months;
- Allowing for an increase in the per diem payments for community participants in the GPD program; and
- Allowing GPD participants to utilize GPD funding to gain access to their local Homeless Management Information System in order to track outcomes of homeless veterans without having to pay out of pocket.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) introduced the companion legislation of the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.