Today, President Obama will sign H.R. 1627, the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Included in the law is the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act which will extend a Veterans' Administration adaptive housing grant program that helps injured and disabled veterans retrofit their homes to make them more disability-accessible. Without this legislation, the adaptive housing program would have expired at the end of 2012.
"Meeting Andrew, Jenny and Brody Connolly will always be one of the highlights of my life," Braley said. "They inspired me, the people of Dubuque and members of both parties in Congress to do more to help one another. Andrew would have turned 29 last week and I can think of no more fitting tribute to his memory than this bill being signed into law."
The Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act is named after the late Andrew Connolly of Dubuque -- an Iowa Army National Guardsman who returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with a tumor in his spine. With Braley's help, Connolly was able to get a grant that allowed him to move into a wheelchair-accessible home until his untimely death in August 2011. Connolly became an advocate for expanding the program, despite his failing health.
The bill will extend the adaptive housing grant program for disabled veterans for ten years, through December 31, 2022. The legislation also increases the adaptive housing grant limit for temporary housing to $28,000, and increases the total adaptive housing grant limit from $63,780 to $91,780, revising current law to exclude the temporary residence adaptation grant from counting towards the total grant amount.
The Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act is included on page 12 of the bill to be signed into law today. To see this section of the bill, go to: http://go.usa.gov/GPe. In addition, to see Andrew Connolly testifying in Congress on May 3, 2011 about the importance of the Veterans Housing programs, go to: http://youtu.be/3haDUPFAPvo.