Congressman Robert Hurt delivered the following opening statement at the Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to examine barriers that homeless and low-income veterans face in securing housing assistance and services from federal agencies and generate ideas to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of housing services for veterans:
"I thank the Chair for yielding and for holding this important hearing today. I also want to commend Chairman Biggert for her efforts to address homelessness and her continued focus on oversight to improve the efficiency of federal programs within our jurisdiction.
"It is a great honor to represent Virginia's Fifth District, which is home to generations of brave veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend the American values that we hold dear. Our veterans represent the finest our country has to offer, and we have a solemn obligation to take care of our servicemen and women when they return home. They deserve access to quality health care services, opportunities to further their education and training, a place to call home, and most importantly, jobs, all of which facilitate their transition from the front lines to the home front.
"Despite our country's long-standing commitment to our veterans, problems that jeopardize their safety and well-being persist. Homelessness among veterans remains unacceptably high, as thousands of our nation's heroes find themselves on the streets each night. Though the VA and HUD have a number of programs and initiatives that provide critical services to homeless veterans, recent studies have shown that such programs are riddled with inefficiencies that reduce the effectiveness of these services.
"To address this critical issue, our Committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to advance policies that enhance the effectiveness of veterans housing assistance services. Today's hearing will further our efforts to analyze these problems and develop bipartisan solutions to reduce these inefficiencies. Our witnesses will illustrate the challenges they have faced with homeless assistance programs and discuss how they overcame struggles with homelessness. I thank all of you for being here to share your perspective, I thank you for your service to this country, and I look forward to your testimony.
"Again, I want to thank Chairman Biggert for holding this hearing today and I yield back the balance of my time."