Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6) announced that the House has passed legislation to help meet the housing needs faced by disabled veterans.
The House passed the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2012 on Wednesday night. The bill, which Bachus helped bring to a vote as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, corrects an inequity in the way that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines rental housing assistance for some disabled veterans. More than 2,000 veterans would be helped by the change, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"The housing challenges faced by disabled veterans are great. That is why we must make sure that federal programs treat our veterans fairly. This bipartisan legislation reforms a regulation that can make it harder for disabled veterans to receive housing assistance that they rightly deserve as a result of their service to our nation," said Congressman Bachus.
Under existing policy, HUD counts certain medical care payments to disabled veterans as income that could be used to pay for housing, jeopardizing their ability to receive rental assistance adequate to keep them in their homes. The legislation would exempt service-related disability benefits and expenses related to in-home care from being included in income calculations. The bill also authorizes a pilot program for the rehabilitation of homes of disabled and low-income veterans.
Bachus joined Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) and Congressman Al Green (D-TX) as the three original cosponsors of the bill, and congratulated Representatives Heck and Green for their leadership on the legislation.