CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, May 18, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 1816, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2015, as amended, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 1816 was introduced on April 15, 2015, by Rep. Joseph Heck (R-NV) and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services
H.R. 1816 amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to exclude payments made to veterans’ health-care providers by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for in-home health aid, assisted living, and nursing home expenses from counting toward the veterans’ gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for Section 8 voucher and public housing programs within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The bill also reduces the aggregate amount of bonuses and awards that may be paid to employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ from $360 million to $350 million for each of the fiscal years 2016 to 2020.
Under current law, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) includes in-home health aid and attendance benefits as part of a person’s gross income when determining eligibility for certain low-income housing assistance programs. H.R. 1816 excludes those benefits from being counted towards a veterans’ gross income when determining program eligibility.
According to the bill sponsor, exempting these benefits from counting towards a veteran’s gross income will “ensure vets can afford to stay in their homes and continue to receive the aid and attendance benefit that is so crucial to their daily lives.” According to HUD, in 2014, there were 49,933 homeless veterans, or approximately 11 percent of the homeless adult population in the United States.
H.R. 1816 is similar to H.R. 1742, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013, which passed the House by voice vote on October 28, 2013.  The Senate did not act on the House-passed bill in the 113th Congress.
 See HUD Report at 40.
 See CR H6780-6781
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.