Carbajal act designed to help disabled veterans secure affordable housing
Bipartisan ‘Home For The Brave Act’ would exempt disability benefits from counting towards eligibility for housing assistance
– Today, Representative Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) reintroduced the bipartisan Home For The Brave Act of 2021 with Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster Pennsylvania). The bill would exempt veterans’ VA disability benefits from counting toward total income when determining their eligibility for housing assistance programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The bipartisan bill earned the endorsement of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Military Officers Association of America, and the National Coalition for the Homeless.
“It is wrong to deny veterans access to housing assistance programs due to disability benefits they receive for service-related injury or illness,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I am glad to work across the aisle on this legislation to assist our veterans experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity on the Central Coast and across the country. They stepped up to defend our nation and now Congress must step up for them by ending this egregious housing discrimination against our disabled veterans.”
“Our veterans have put their lives at great risk to keep all of us safe back home. To return home and be priced out of housing assistance simply because they receive service-related disability benefits is just plain wrong,” said Rep. Smucker. “Our district has made great strides to eliminate veteran homelessness, and I am proud to stand with my constituents in this noble effort. I want to thank Rep. Carbajal for his work on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families and look forward to working together to get this legislation passed.”
Financial benefits for service-connected disabilities are currently counted as income when determining eligibility for housing assistance programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a result, many veterans are determined ineligible for these housing programs because their disability benefits are placing them at a higher income level. Other agencies, including the International Revenue Service (IRS), do not consider veterans benefits for service-connected disabilities income.
Roughly 25-percent of the estimated 39,000 homeless veterans in the United States live in California.