WASHINGTON – Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to support veterans coping with homelessness.
The bipartisan amendment seeks to tackle veteran homelessness by expanding the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program to ensure chronically homeless veterans discharged under conditions other-than-honorable (OTH), but not dishonorable, are eligible for HUD-VASH housing vouchers and supportive case management.
“One mistake in a career of service should not condemn a veteran to a lifetime of homelessness,” Stivers said. “Those who received an other-than-honorable discharge, often times for administrative reasons, make up a disproportional amount of the homeless veteran population, and it is imperative that we use all resources at our disposal to support them.”
The amendment is based on the Veteran HOUSE Act of 2020, which Representative Stivers cosponsored. It was passed by the House Financial Services Committee and unanimously by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
As the Ranking Republican Member on the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, and as a Brigadier General in the Ohio Army National Guard, Representative Stivers has worked to combat homelessness, particularly among vulnerable populations.
He is the sponsor of the Housing Our Military Servicemembers (HOMeS) Act, to add former servicemembers as a subpopulation eligible for rehousing incentive payments through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). By codifying “former servicemembers” into HUD’s homeless assistance statutes, the agency can incentivize and reward housing grantees that help get all former members of the military off the streets.