National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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NCHV Articles on Congressional Activity and Policy Issues

2017


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2007


Position Statements

NCHV's position statements provide justification for the nation's most critical homeless veteran programs. Each paper, downloadable in PDF format, provides an overview of the program's purpose and function, explains its importance to the veteran service provider community, and recommends a congressional course of action.



 

Grant and Per Diem Program

The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has been the foundation of community-based homeless veterans assistance since 1992. With nearly 15,000 beds nationwide serving up to 30,000 men and women each year, the GPD Program is often the first and most significant step toward recovery for veterans experiencing homelessness. By helping homeless veterans obtain stable housing, health services and employment and other income supports, the GPD Program has helped hold the line against increases in veteran homelessness despite continued economic stagnation, the housing crisis, high veteran unemployment, and the complete withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq.

The effects of combat exposure typically do not manifest themselves right away. By maintaining the infrastructure of the homeless veteran response system – with the Grant and Per Diem Program at its core – and ramping up VA’s ability to prevent veteran homelessness from ever happening (see NCHV’s SSVF Program policy statement), America can ensure that returning veterans will always have the support they need in times of crisis.

To download this full paper, click here.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is the only national, veteran-specific program available to help at-risk men and women veterans from ever becoming homeless. The program is also the most suitable resource for homeless veterans who are able to quickly transition out of homelessness into permanent housing.

SSVF grantees are nonprofit, community-based organizations that provide very low-income veterans and their families with services in the following areas: health, legal, child care, transportation, fiduciary and payee, daily living, obtaining benefits, and housing counseling. The program also allows for time-limited payments to third parties – e.g. landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child-care providers – to ensure housing stability for veteran families. SSVF funds are leveraged with local Continuums of Care and other community partners at no extra cost to the federal government.

To download this full paper, click here.

HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is the only federal program designed to end chronic homelessness for veterans and their families. The men and women who enroll in the program achieve independent living by way of veteran-specific HUD Section 8 housing vouchers, which are linked to comprehensive VA case management and counseling services.

Case management is an integral part of the permanent supportive housing program. The vast majority of veterans who receive HUD-VASH vouchers have serious mental illness, substance use disorder histories, physical disabilities, or co-occurring disorders. Veterans create individualized “Housing Recovery Plans” with their case managers, focusing on long-term recovery and full integration into their communities. These plans involve health care, resolving legal and financial issues, and addressing employment and income needs.

To download this full paper, click here.

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program

The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) is the nation’s only employment program wholly dedicated to serving homeless veterans, most of whom have serious and multiple barriers to re-entering the workforce. Administered by U.S. Department of Labor-Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS) for over two decades, HVRP presently serves about 16,000 veterans each year. These men and women find employment at an average wage of $10.48 per hour at an average cost of $3,295 per placement.

In order for HVRP grantees to receive renewed funding, they must guarantee job placement and retention services for homeless veterans. These veterans benefit from wrap-around supports, as most grantees also provide residential stability, health services and counseling. Additionally, successful programs leverage local service networks without incurring extra costs.

To download this full paper, click here.

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is an independent establishment within the executive branch of the federal government. They were originally created by Congress in the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 to coordinate the federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership between every level of government and the private sector aimed at ending homelessness. Since their creation the body has grown to include nineteen member agencies from the federal government, and have become a leader in the movement to end veteran homelessness.

The small professional staff of policy experts and analysts at USICH is directed by a Council comprised of Cabinet Secretaries and agency heads, and their work cuts across these agencies and departments. USICH is the body which brings together different agencies with different missions, but which all have potential impacts in the attempt to end homelessness; USICH is able to convene them and set policy priorities and shared objectives to actualize the plan to end homelessness. Furthermore, from their unique cross-cutting position, USICH is able to identify and prevent duplication of services that would otherwise waste effort and resources. Finally, USICH is focused on cost-effective solutions to ending homelessness which drives them to identify and support policies that best husband tax-payer money while still achieving superior results in our efforts to end homelessness among veterans and for everyone.

To download this full paper, click here


Active Legislation

NCHV reports on legislation in the United States Congress that would significantly impact veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This page lists bills that have been introduced in the 115th Congress, which convened in January 2017 and will run through calendar year 2018. Each bill number links to its summary page on the Library of Congress website, where the bill's full text and record of congressional action can be accessed. For more information on legislation, go to http://thomas.loc.gov.

  • To contact your Senator, click here.
  • To contact your Congressperson, click here.
  • To review legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, click here
  • To review legislation introduced in the 113th Congress, click here
  • To review legislation introduced in the 112th Congress, click here.
  • To review legislation introduced in the 111th Congress, click here.



House of Representatives bills

H.R.104: Helping Homeless Veterans Act of 2017
Rep. Brownley, Julia [D-CA-26], Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7], Rep. Vargas, Juan [D-CA-51], Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]  01/03/2017

  • This bill makes the following Department of Veterans Affairs programs and services permanent: (1) homeless veterans reintegration programs, (2) referral and counseling services for veterans at risk of homelessness who are transitioning from certain institutions (including penal institutions), (3) financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing, (4) a grant program for homeless veterans with special needs, (5) treatment and rehabilitation for seriously mentally ill and homeless veterans, (6) housing assistance for homeless veterans, and (7) the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.

H.R.107: Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Act  
Rep. Brownley, Julia [D-CA-26] 1/3/2017

  • This bill directs the Department of Labor to give homeless veterans with dependent children service priority under homeless veterans reintegration programs.

H.R.734: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a refundable credit against tax for landlords of veterans receiving rental assistance under the Veterans Affairs Supported Housing program
Rep. Brownley, Julia [D-CA-26]  1/30/2017

  • This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a refundable tax credit for the owner of a dwelling unit that is occupied by a veteran on whose behalf rental assistance is provided by the Veterans Affairs Supported Housing program under the United States Housing Act of 1937. The credit is equal to 10% of the amount of rental assistance received by the person for the year.

H.R.1145: Housing for Homeless Students Act of 2017
Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5], Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3] 2/16/2017

  • This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the low-income housing tax credit, to qualify low-income building units that provide housing for homelesschildren, youth, or veterans who are full-time students for the credit. To qualify for the credit, the full-time student must have been a homeless child or youth during any portion of the seven-year period prior to occupying the housing unit or a homeless veteran during any portion of the five-year period prior to occupying the unit.

H.R.1875: Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund Act of 2017
Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10], Rep. Murphy, Tim [R-PA-18], Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-22], Rep. Frankel, Lois [D-FL-21], Rep. Shea-Porter, Carol [D-NH-1], Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9], Rep. Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47], Rep. Loebsack, David [D-IA-2], Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3] 4/4/2017

H.R.1993: Homeless Veterans Legal Services Act
Rep. Beatty, Joyce [D-OH-3], Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15], Rep. Tiberi, Patrick J. [R-OH-12] 4/6/2017

  • This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into partnerships with public or private entities to fund a portion of the legal services such entities provide to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness related to housing, family law, income support, and criminal defense.

 

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Senate bills

S. 112: Creating a Reliable Environment for Veterans' Dependents Act
Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV], Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] 1/12/2017

  • This bill provides that the services for which a recipient of a grant under the VA comprehensive service program for homeless veterans may receive per diem payments may include furnishing care for a dependent under the care of a veteran who is receiving services.

S. 434: Housing for Homeless Students Act of 2017
Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN], Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH] 2/16/2017

  • This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the low-income housing tax credit, to qualify low-income building units that provide housing for homelesschildren, youth, or veterans who are full-time students for the credit. To qualify for the credit, the full-time student must have been a homeless child or youth during any portion of the seven-year period prior to occupying the housing unit or a homeless veteran during any portion of the five-year period prior to occupying the unit.

S.743: A bill to strengthen the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI], Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]  3/28/2017

S. 1072: Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2017
Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC],  Sen. Hirono, Mazie [D-HI], Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT], Sen. Manchin, Joe [D-WV]  5/9/2017

  • Allow per diem payments through the GPD program to be made to support dependents who accompany their veteran parent in their homelessness,
  • Create an expansive public-private partnership to expand the legal services available to homeless veterans across the country,
  • Provide dental care through VA to homeless/ formerly homeless veterans living in HUD-VASH, a domiciliary, or grant and per diem program, among other locations, and
  • Increase the authorization limit for the SSVF program to $500 million, opening the door for the renewal of surge grants set to expire at the end of this year.

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Congressional Testimony

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is frequently called upon by the United States Congress to weigh in on pending legislation and federal budget proposals. This page contains a record of NCHV's written testimonies submitted to Congress and other legislative bodies where noted.


2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Archived Testimony


1730 M Street NW, Suite 705  |  Washington, DC  |  20036  |  t-f. 1.800.VET.HELP  |  v. 202.546.1969  |  f. 202.546.2063  |  info@nchv.org