McCarthy, Levin Introduce Bill to Provide Assistance to Homeless Veterans

September 16, 2020 | View Online

Today, Representatives Kevin McCarthy and Mike Levin (CA-49) introduced the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act of 2020 to ensure that our nation’s homeless veterans receive HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program vouchers and supportive services that they deserve. 

“For generations, our veterans have sacrificed immensely to guarantee the safety of the United States at home and abroad,” said McCarthy. “Because of their service, our country remains a world leader and beacon of hope across the globe. When our service members leave the military, it is our responsibility to help them in their transition to civilian life, especially for those who fall on hard times. 

“Helping our homeless veterans get back on track by ensuring they have ample access to housing vouchers and other supportive services is an important step toward repaying our gratitude for their sacrifices and service to country, McCarthy continued. “I thank Congressman Levin for joining me on this bill and for his dedication to this very important cause, as well as Ranking Member Roe and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee team for their support in bringing this bill to fruition.” 

“Veterans who have sacrificed for our country should never end up on our streets, and we must do more to support them and help them find permanent housing. The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act will get veterans back on their feet by helping fill case management gaps in the HUD-VASH program, increasing payments to organizations that house homeless veterans, and facilitating access to information systems that can improve outcomes for the veterans they serve. These changes can make a world of difference for homeless veterans and their families, and I appreciate Minority Leader McCarthy's partnership on this legislation.” —Representative Mike Levin, Subcommittee Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity

“I applaud my friends, Leader McCarthy and Rep. Levin, for introducing the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act to make it easier for homeless veterans to access safe, affordable housing. This bill will get us one step closer to ending veteran homelessness once and for all and I am proud to support it today.” 
—Representative Phil Roe, Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and original cosponsor of this bill

The California Veterans Assistance Foundation is honored to work with Congressman McCarthy’s office on the ‘Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act of 2020.’ This bill is a positive step forward in increasing staffing and funding efforts to address veteran homelessness, and recognize the work of organizations nationwide that provide the wrap around services necessary to make permanent housing a reality.” —Deb Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc. (CVAF) 

"The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans applauds the efforts of Leader McCarthy and Chairman Levin for introducing this legislation. This language would improve services to veterans facing housing instability by adjusting non-emergency Grant and Per Diem rates and HMIS reimbursement and HUD-VASH case management staffing. These adjustments are monumental for those service providers and veterans affected. NCHV looks forward to working with the Leader and Chairman as we continue our collective efforts to end veteran homelessness." —Kathryn Monet, Chief Executive Officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)

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Background

The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act would require three steps to ensure that homeless veterans receive the housing vouchers and supportive services that they deserve:

  1. Require the VA to contract out vacant HUD-VASH case worker positions to local, qualified community providers.
     
  2. Increase the Per Diem payments that community participants in the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program may receive for each homeless veteran that they house.  
     
  3. Allow Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program community participants to use GPD funding to gain access to their local Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

You can learn more about the bill by clicking here.

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