Stivers fights to help homeless former members of the military find homes

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced legislation to make former service members eligible for rehousing incentive payments offered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Housing Our Military Servicemembers (HOMeS) Act, which captured bipartisan support, would codify former service members in HUD’s homeless assistance statutes to enable the agency to reward and incentivize those who help former members of the military find homes.

“Our veteran population is particularly vulnerable to homelessness, and Congress has a responsibility to act on this problem,” Stivers said. “This bill recognizes the needs of all former servicemembers and assists housing grantees that are working hard to find these individuals the homes they deserve. While the HOMeS Act will not solve the homelessness problem, it is an important first step.”

The HOMeS Act would also help lawmakers gauge the extent of the issue by establishing reporting requirements on subpopulations that have been excluded from HUD’s homeless assistance statutes.

Housing grantees compete for so-called bonus funding from HUD in order to help house certain designated population groups. HUD spent approximately $133 million on incentive payments in fiscal year 2016, according to data provided by the agency.

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), who introduced the bipartisan measure with Stivers, said every service member deserves a place to call home, yet many do not.

“That is why I am proud to team up with Congressman Stivers to introduce the Housing Our Military Servicemembers Act which takes an important step in ensuring that all of our nation’s former servicemembers have a safe place to call home,” Beatty said.