Helping Our Heroes: Houston Congressman Writes Bill To Help Veterans

Congressman Al Green
Houston's Congressman Al Green recently passed a veteran's bill through the House. It still has to pass the Senate, but the hope is that disabled and low-income veterans will get a little more housing help.

 

The Housing Assistance for Veterans or HAVEN Act that recently passed the House of Representatives was an amendment to another House Bill, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act.

Congressman Green says he wrote HAVEN to fill the gap for 4.3 million disabled or low-income veterans, many of whom live in Texas. He hopes to help them get housing modifications they need to function daily:

“Those that need their homes modified so that they can get into their homes with wheelchairs and to be independent. We do have some veterans that are already being assisted by the ‘Special Adaptive Housing Program,’ but it does not catch all of them. Some of them are falling through the cracks.”

Congressman Green’s amendment authorizes a HUD pilot program that provides grants to nonprofits. The cost to the federal government is $20 million dollars over the next five years. However nonprofits that take part in the scheme will have to contribute $3 dollars for every federal dollar.

“That’s a unique thing in this Congress now, because everything has to be paid for, so we were able to find the money for the entirety of the bill HR 6361 which includes the amendment that we have and hopefully that will help to expedite things.”

The bill still has to pass the Senate, which Green hopes will happen in a Lame Duck session following the November presidential election.

Bio photo of Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend...