Burr introduces bipartisan legislation to address problem of veteran homelessness

Bipartisan legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) would build on successful Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) housing programs to help tackle veteran homelessness.

The Homeless Veterans Prevention Act would keep families together by allowing the children of homeless veterans to be housed through transitional housing programs, and it would require the VA to forge public and private partnerships that provide legal services to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“Veteran homelessness is a heartbreaking issue,” Burr said. “We are making progress in combating veterans’ homelessness, and over the last two years, we have seen the number of homeless veterans decrease to around 40,000, but that is still far too many, and I will continue to address this problem until the number is zero.”

In particular, many women do not participate in existing programs because their children are not allowed to live in transitional housing, he said. “The Homeless Veterans Prevention Act bill addresses this shortcoming and increases the availability of housing for homeless veterans,” Burr said.

The measure would also give the VA authority to provide dental care to homeless veterans, and it would extend and increase funding for supportive services to low-income veterans living in permanent housing.

Burr introduced the bipartisan bill with U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Jon Tester (D-MT).

“It’s our responsibility to ensure that veterans facing homelessness have the resources they need to get back on their feet,” Tester said. “This bipartisan bill makes sure that these veterans have access to health care, legal services and a safe and warm place to call home.”