The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, October 28 passed a number of veteran’s affairs bills, including the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013 (HR 1742) which would broaden disabled veterans’ income eligibility for federal rental assistance and public housing programs. More specifically, the bill amends the US Housing Act of 1937 to exclude various types of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and expenses related to in-home care from being considered when determining income eligibility and rental assistance payments for HUD Section 8 rental assistance and public housing programs. To offset the cost of expanding veterans’ housing assistance, the bill would require that the Section 8 utility allowance be based on the size of the renting family instead of the size of the dwelling unit. An exception is granted to public housing agencies (PHAs) upon request by a family that includes a person with disabilities, an elderly family, or a family that includes a person less than 18 years old, to approve a utility allowance that is higher than the applicable amount on the utility schedule.
HR 1742, which was originally introduced by Representative Joseph Heck (R-NV) passed by voice vote on October 28 and will now move to Senate for consideration.