Legislative Alert from NCHV

Hill Watch: Congress Considering Passage of Veterans Bill with Homelessness Provisions
Call Congress to show your support today! 
Last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6416, the “Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016”. This package, named after the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, respectively, has been long in the making. As Congress approaches the end of the year, it is making one last try at passing these important provisions. It is likely that the Senate will vote on the bill today or Thursday.
The provisions relating to homelessness are contained in Title VII of the bill, available here. They address several issues in the current system that directly impact our work with veterans. We are running out of time in this Congress to help homeless veterans get the services they need and deserve – call your Senator today.
If passed, H.R. 6416 would:
  • Permanently authorize the use of VA homeless programs by veterans with “Other Than Honorable” discharges,
  • Finally update the VA’s definition of homelessness, to include the McKinney-Vento updates which allow individuals fleeing domestic violence to be considered homeless,
  • Authorize a higher Per Diem rate to be paid to Transition in Place programs,
  • Create a program to allow for follow-up case management for veterans who have successfully completed a GPD program,
  • Ease the transition for any GPD that wishes shift units to permanent housing provider, and
  • Permanently authorize the National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans.
NCHV fully endorses the passage of this bill and strongly encourages you to call or email your Senators to express your support as well. The stakes are high for this bill. Please take a few moments today to contact your Senators; let them know this is important to their communities and that they should pass H.R. 6416 this week. If you would like to contact your Senators, you can find their contact information by clicking here.  
Representative Miller and Senator Blumenthal have both supplied leadership and tenacity to this project, as they have to all veteran issues. NCHV thanks both of them for their work and support over the course of the 114th Congress, as we thank all legislators who have been involved. 
NCHV wants to thank in particular Chairman Jeff Miller, who is retiring at the end of this Congress. He has steadfastly supported services for homeless veterans through his eight-term congressional career. Since he became Chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee in 2011, he has increased that support and created real reforms and investments which have directly improved the lives of tens of thousands of homeless veterans. He was deservedly awarded the NCHV Congressional Leadership Award in 2012, and has been as equally deserving of our thanks since then.