Walz introduces legislation aimed at helping homeless veterans

Published 6:50 pm Saturday, May 19, 2012

U.S. Representatives Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., introduced legislation Friday in the House of Representatives to enable non-profit organizations that serve homeless veterans to participate in the primary Veterans Affairs grant program that supports housing and other facilities for homeless veterans.

“We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to take care of our brave service members when they get home,” said Walz, a 24 year veteran of the Army National Guard. “After the sacrifices they’ve made for our nation, it is the least we can do. This legislation simply lifts barriers to existing grants and will work to improve the quality of life for homeless veterans — to put a roof over their head and ensure they are getting the assistance and care they have earned and deserve.”

The Housing for Heroes Act (H.R. 5830) ensures that more non-profits serving veterans have access to compete for federal resources designated to combat veterans’ homelessness. Current law prevents non-profits that use the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to shelter the homeless from competing for Veterans’ Affairs Grant and Per Diem Program resources, solely because of how the tax credit is administered. This fix will allow these non-profits to put roofs over the heads of those who have risked their lives for our freedom and now find themselves homeless. It is estimated that 67,495 veterans are homeless, a disproportionate share of the population.