March 10, 2015

Manchin and Burr Introduce Bill to Reduce Veteran Homelessness

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2015. This legislation would build on existing homeless veterans programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by investing in established programs that are proven to be effective and removing any residual barriers to housing for veterans.

“I don’t know how we, as a country, can accept that nearly 50,000 Americans who have served our country will be homeless tonight,” Senator Manchin said. “We must do all that we can to help those veterans and their families – and this bill will go a long way to assist with their transition into permanent housing.” 

“It is heartbreaking that we still have as many as 50,000 homeless veterans in this country,” said Senator Burr. “This legislation will help us reduce the number of homeless veterans until all of our nation’s heroes have a place to call home.  In particular, many women have been unable to fully participate in existing programs because their children were not allowed to live in the transitional housing. The Homeless Veterans Prevention Act bill addresses this shortcoming and increases the availability of housing for homeless veterans.”

The bill has support from National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (will link).

Key Points for the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2015:

• Keeps veteran families together by allowing VA to house the children of homeless veterans in transitional housing programs.

• Incentivizes grantees to avoid disruptions that arise when veterans complete transitional housing programs and move on to permanent housing.

• Allows VA to partner with public and private entities to increase the availability of legal services for homeless veterans.

• Extends and increases the amount of money available for supportive service to very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.