Washington, DC — On the first day of the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Homeless Veteran Families Act, legislation to help homeless veterans with children find a safe place to live.
The Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program funds community housing agencies that provide services to homeless veterans. Currently, the VA does not have the authority to provide the reimbursements for the costs of services for 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 costs of housing minor dependents of homeless veterans while the veteran receives services from the grant recipient.
“As a nation, we have a sacred responsibility to help those who served in uniform,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “It is simply unacceptable that veterans with children are living out on the street or in other unsafe locations because the VA can’t reimburse community agencies for housing them. This is an issue that disproportionately impacts women veterans — the fastest-growing veteran population. It is imperative that we fix this issue and keep families together and safe, while providing the stable living situation imperative to setting the conditions for a fresh start.”