CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, October 28, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 1742, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on April 25, 2013 by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
H.R. 1742 amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to exclude, from consideration of income by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), any expenses related to a veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Furthermore, this legislation reforms the calculation for utility allowance payments, and prohibits the allowance for tenant-paid utilities from exceeding Public Housing Agency (PHA) guidelines based upon family size. The bill would require the PHA, upon request, to approve a higher allowance if the family includes an individual with disabilities, an individual less than 18 years old, or an elderly individual. In the case of a family having a disabled individual, the PHA will approve a higher allowance when needed in order to make a unit accessible and usable by that person.
Finally, the bill directs the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to regularly publish data regarding utility consumption and cost in order to establish allowances for tenant paid utilities.
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit is a pension supplement provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to Veterans and survivors who, “requires the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound.” The A&A benefit is generally provided to severely disabled Veterans with little or no income. Currently, this benefit is counted when the HUD is determining eligibility for housing assistance.
Similar legislation (H.R. 6361) passed the House in the 112th Congress by voice vote.
An informal analysis from the CBO estimates that the exemption would cost $34 million over five years, while the adjustment of the utilities provision would save $80 million over five years. Total estimated savings over five years would be $46 million.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.