This week, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced the Veteran HOUSE Act and Homes for Our Heroes Act to address veteran homelessness, a key issue in San Diego. The bills are expected to be considered by the full Veterans’ Affairs Committee soon.
“Homelessness is one of San Diego County’s biggest challenges. The most recent Point-in-Time Count identified 1,075 veterans among those without homes. Research shows veterans with other-than-honorable discharges have substantial mental health care needs, and may be more likely to experience homelessness. Our legislation would expand access to housing and the wraparound services that can end chronic homelessness.
“Veterans had our nation’s back. Now we must have theirs,” said Rep. Peters.
Both bills aim to improve the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which is a proven way to end chronic veteran homelessness. The Veteran HOUSE Act makes chronically homeless veterans discharged under conditions other-than-honorable, but not dishonorable, eligible for HUD-VASH housing vouchers and supportive case management. The Homes for Our Heroes Act requires HUD and the VA to report demographic information of those who use HUD-VASH vouchers; study barriers to using HUD-VASH vouchers in high-cost housing markets, like San Diego; and disclose how vouchers are allocated.