Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Upgrade Veterans Housing
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Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Upgrade Veterans Housing


WASHINGTON, DC – July 31, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — As part of their continuing efforts to provide suitable housing for disabled and low-income veterans, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) today reintroduced the Housing Assistance for Veterans Act (HAVEN Act).

The HAVEN Act authorizes a competitive, five year, $20 million pilot program allowing non-profit organizations to apply for grants administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help make home repairs and improvements for disabled or low-income veterans. The work would include simple repairs to help keep veterans safe, such as repairing roofs, floors, walls, electrical wiring, and plumbing; replacing leaky or damaged doors and windows; and installing wheelchair ramps and widening doorways and passageways. In order to extend the reach of this federal funding, grant recipients would be expected to either match federal funding or make in-kind contributions, such as through encouraging volunteers to help make repairs or engaging businesses to donate needed supplies.

“The HAVEN Act will help more veterans get critical repairs and modifications so their homes are safer and more accessible. This is about our communities coming together to help our veterans and give a little something back to those who have made many personal sacrifices in service to our nation. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly take up and pass this bipartisan legislation to help all veterans live in safe, suitable homes that meet their unique needs,” said Reed.

“We owe it to those who have sacrificed so much protecting our homeland to ensure they have a safe and accessible home to return to following their tour of service,” Johanns said. “The public-private partnerships created by the HAVEN Act will help address our veterans’ housing needs in an efficient and responsible manner. It’s an important way to say ‘thank you’ to those who have given so much for our country by ensuring their basic needs are met.”

While the Department of Veterans Affairs has programs that assist veterans in adapting and improving their homes, these programs do not extend assistance to all veterans with disabilities. The HAVEN Act would serve all veterans with disabilities, regardless of the severity of the disability and whether the disability is service-connected.

The Haven Act is supported by Rebuilding Together, VetsFirst, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Habitat for Humanity, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the American Legion.
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