Today at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on health and benefits legislation, U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) announced that he introduced the Housing for Families of Ill and Injured Veterans Act of 2012 (S. 3324), which would authorize grants to the Fisher House Foundation for the construction of temporary housing near major military medical centers so families have a place to stay when their veteran family member is hospitalized.
"Today, Fisher Houses in twenty-one states are helping our hospitalized veterans and their families navigate the difficult, and often painful, road to recovery," said Senator Brown. "These homes create an instant community of support for families, allowing them to focus on being there for a sick or injured loved one. There is an urgent need for more Fisher Houses across the country, especially with today's bad economy, and we need to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide these grants to the Foundation. After our troops sustain injuries and make extraordinary sacrifices on the battlefield, our nation has an obligation to ensure these accommodations are available to their families."
Department of Veterans' Affairs intends to continue its partnership with the Fisher House Foundation for years to come in order to provide additional Fisher Houses. The Foundation currently receives $4 million per year from the Department of Defense for the construction of one housing facility, but does not receive any funding from the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Senator Brown's legislation would authorize $4 million to the Department of Veterans' Affairs to award grants for the construction of Fisher Houses to be used for temporary lodging for veterans and families receiving health care at VA Medical Centers.
The Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization, donates Fisher Houses to the U.S. Government, which are then operated by the VA. Fisher Houses have provided free housing to 160,000 military families since 1990.