|Sponsor||Rep. Green, Al|
|Date||June 16, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)|
|Staff Contact||Adam Hepburn|
H.R. 403 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on January 9, 2009.
H.R. 403 requires the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department to provide at least 20,000 rental vouchers for homeless veterans. The bill authorizes $200 million in Fiscal Year 2009, and such sums as may be necessary for each subsequent year. The legislation also allows family members of a veteran receiving a housing voucher to maintain the voucher and the home after the veteran's death.
The bill authorizes grants to nonprofit organizations that sponsor housing projects for veterans making less than 50 percent of the median income of an area, assist veterans in obtaining housing or homeless assistance, and assist veterans with the HUD planning and application process for assistance programs. The bill requires HUD to create a position within the department to serve as the liaison to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department.
H.R. 403 requires HUD and VA coordination to ensure housing assistance includes outreach programs, health programs, case management, personal finance planning, transportation, employment and training, education, assistance in obtaining veterans benefits, legal aid child care, and housing counseling.
Some Members may be concerned that this legislation specifies that laborers and mechanics employed on contract in the construction of housing under this Act be paid the prevailing wage (an expansion of Davis-Bacon).
The Department of Veterans' Affairs provides assistance directly to homeless veterans. Although limited to veterans and their dependents, the VA's major homeless-specific programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless treatment and assistance services in the country. The Department's homeless veterans programs were first authorized in 1987, and have grown and developed since that time. According to the VA, about one-third of the adult homeless population are veterans, with current population estimates suggesting that about 154,000 veterans are homeless.
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate yet available for H.R. 403.