Rounds’ Legislation to End Veteran Homelessness Heads to President’s Desk
The bill was passed as part of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, MD, Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, made the following statement after legislation he introduced to end veteran homelessness was included in a veterans package that passed the House of Representatives yesterday. It now heads to the president’s desk for signature:
“No veteran should be without a place to call home,” said Rounds. “While there has been progress made over the past decade at reducing the number of veterans experiencing homelessness, there are still too many vets without a roof over their heads. These are men and women who’ve served and sacrificed for us—they deserve every benefit they’ve earned. I thank my colleagues in Congress for their support of this legislation, which seeks to make sure every veteran has the resources they need to find a home. I look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law.”
The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act was introduced by Rounds and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in October 2020. It will improve two programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as part of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, MD, Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.
The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act will make improvements to the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program by:
- Requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contract out vacant HUD-VASH caseworker positions to qualified community providers—if a VA Medical Center has not used more than 15 percent of its HUD-VASH voucher allocation in the previous year and has had a HUD-VASH case manager position vacant for over 9 months;
- Allowing for an increase in the per diem payments for community participants in the GPD program; and
- Allowing GPD participants to utilize GPD funding to gain access to their local Homeless Management Information System in order to track outcomes of homeless veterans without having to pay out of pocket.