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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Representatives Stivers and Beatty Introduce Bill to Incentivize Assistance for Homeless Former Servicemembers

Sep 23, 2016
Press Release

Representatives Stivers and Beatty Introduce Bill to Incentivize Assistance for Homeless Former Servicemembers

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH) introduced the Housing our Military Servicemembers (HOMeS) Act, H.R. 6124, 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.

Each year, HUD awards housing grantees with additional, “bonus” funding on a competitive basis which may be used to help specific subpopulations find homes.  Despite the hard work of community shelter leaders, too many veterans remain on the streets and some former members of the military do not qualify for VA housing assistance.  The HOMeS Act will help elevate the profile of veterans and former servicemembers for HUD homeless housing incentives, by explicitly including them as an eligible subpopulation for these payments in the U.S. Code. 

“Individuals who wore a uniform have been particularly vulnerable to homelessness in our communities, and Congress should do more to help address the problem,” Stivers said. “This bill will not solve the homelessness problem, but it is an important step in acknowledging the housing needs of all former servicemembers and toward rewarding housing grantees that aim to get these individuals off the streets.  I am proud to take this step in finding homes for all of our nation’s former servicemembers.”

“No servicemember should ever find themselves living on the streets,” Beatty said. “Unfortunately, too many still do. While we have made progress in helping connect homeless servicemembers to resources to help get them back on their feet, we must do more.” Beatty continued, “To that effect, I have joined with Congressman Stivers to do something about it. This bill will provide greater assurance to our nation’s homeless servicemembers that the federal government remains steadfast in its mission to ensure every servicemember has a place to call ‘Home Sweet Home.’”

According to data provided by HUD, the agency spent approximately $133 million on incentive payments in the fiscal year 2016. Organizations who have expressed support for the legislation include the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). Read the full text of the bill by clicking here.