Bipartisan military veterans’ housing assistance bill reintroduced by Smucker

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) this week reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would help combat homelessness among United States military veterans while ensuring that disabled veterans have access to affordable housing options.

“Our veterans have put their lives at great risk to keep all of us safe back home,” Rep. Smucker said. “To return home and be priced out of housing assistance simply because they receive service-related disability benefits is just plain wrong.”

Rep. Smucker on July 19 signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the Home for the Brave Act of 2021, H.R. 4503, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) and 33 other original cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Pete Stauber (R-MN), and Don Bacon (R-NE). 

Reps. Smucker and Carbajal in August 2019 first introduced the Home for the Brave Act of 2019, which stalled in the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.  

If enacted, the newly reintroduced H.R. 4503 would exempt veterans’ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits from counting toward total income when determining their eligibility for housing assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the text of the bill.

The measure is supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, the Military Officers Association of America, and the National Coalition for the Homeless.

“Our district has made great strides to eliminate veteran homelessness, and I am proud to stand with my constituents in this noble effort,” said Rep. Smucker. “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.”