Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Homeless Veteran Families Act, legislation authored by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) to help homeless veterans with children find a safe place to live.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that veterans with children are living out on the street or in other unsafe locations because VA can’t reimburse community agencies for housing them,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “This is an issue that disproportionately impacts women veterans — the fastest-growing veteran population. It is imperative that we fix chronic homelessness amongst our veteran population and help keep families together and safe, while providing long-term, stable living environments for veterans to thrive. This bill is one step towards that goal. I’m pleased that my bill has received strong bipartisan support and passed the House today, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to see this bill reach the White House and be signed into law.”
The Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program offers funding to community housing agencies that provide services to homeless veterans. Currently, VA does not have the authority to provide reimbursements to these providers for the additional costs of sheltering minor children of homeless veterans. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that this inequity led to a financial disincentive for providers and, in turn, limited housing for veterans with young children. Brownley’s legislation would help address this issue by allowing VA to reimburse providers for 50 percent of the per diem costs of housing minor dependents of homeless veterans while the veteran receives services from the grant recipient.