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Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Disabled Veterans Housing Needs

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2024 | Ryan Saylor (771-200-0819)
Tags: Veterans

Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz (TX-15) introduced the Disabled Veterans Housing Support Act, a crucial piece of bipartisan legislation aimed at rectifying the inconsistent treatment of disabled veterans seeking housing assistance, which leaves some disabled veterans without access to vital support they may otherwise qualify for. This bill addresses a pressing concern that has been brought to light during numerous Financial Services Committee hearings.

At the heart of the issue is the unjust disqualification of veterans receiving disability income through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from certain HUD programs due to discrepancies in income verification sources chosen by grantees. The Disabled Veterans Housing Support Act seeks to rectify this injustice, particularly within the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, by implementing the following key measures:

  • Exclusion of Service-Connected Disability Compensation: The bill mandates the exclusion of service-connected disability compensation when determining eligibility for CDBG assistance, ensuring that disabled veterans are not unfairly penalized in accessing essential housing support.

  • Congressional Report Requirement: The legislation mandates a comprehensive report to Congress, examining how service-connected disability compensation is treated across all programs administered by the HUD Secretary. This report will identify any instances of inconsistency in the treatment of service-connected disability compensation and provide recommendations on how to better serve veteran populations and underserved communities within HUD programs.

Congresswoman De La Cruz expressed her deep commitment to ensuring that our nation's veterans receive the support and assistance they deserve, stating, "Our disabled veterans have sacrificed immeasurably for our nation, and it is unconscionable that bureaucratic red tape would prevent them from accessing the housing support they need and deserve. The Disabled Veterans Housing Support Act is a vital step towards rectifying this injustice and ensuring that our veterans are consistently treated with the dignity and respect they have earned through their service."

Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-32), a co-lead of this legislation, echoed De La Cruz’s sentiments, saying, “There is nothing more shameful than a homeless disabled veteran that lost a limb defending us, and is now on the streets. I look forward to working with Rep. De La Cruz to exclude veteran disability benefits from income calculation for both the Community Development Block Grant Program and HUD-VASH eligibility.”

The Disabled Veterans Housing Support Act is co-led by Reps. Brad Sherman (CA-32), Susan Wild (PA-07), and Mike Lawler (NY-17). Additional co-sponsors include Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Anthony D'Esposito (NY-04), Lori Chavez-Deremer (OR-05), James Moylan (GU-AT), Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), Randy Weber (TX-14), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Andy Barr (KY-6), Marcus Molinaro (NY-19), and Rudy Yakym (IN-2).