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Public Statements

Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DISABLED VETERANS HOME IMPROVEMENT AND STRUCTURAL ALTERATION GRANT INCREASE ACT OF 2009 -- (House of Representatives - July 27, 2009)

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Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the ranking member of our committee, Mr. Buyer of Indiana, for introducing this bill.

In the past, many of our veterans have returned from combat with life-changing injuries and illnesses. Congress saw fit to provide special adaptive grants to help them improve their quality of life. Today, another generation of servicemembers is returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with even more egregious life-changing injuries and illnesses due to the development of better equipment and body armor that keeps them alive, albeit seriously injured.

The bill provides for a long overdue increase in the amount payable to veterans for improvements and structural alterations to their homes. This amount, Mr. Speaker, has not been increased for 17 years. The bill would increase the grant amounts from $4,100 to $6,800 for veterans with a service-connected disability and from $1,200 to $2,000 for veterans with nonservice-connected disability. Importantly, Home Improvement and Structural Alteration grants, called HISA, are the only grants available to nonservice-connected veterans and those conditions.

HISA grants can be used in conjunction with other adaptive housing grants offered through the Veterans Benefits Administration to help cover some of the additional costs a veteran may be facing when building or adapting a home to meet his or her unique needs. We owe it to our veterans to keep pace with the many different needs and challenges that they face on a daily basis. Seventeen years is a long time to wait.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1293.

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