H.R. 2398, a bill to amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 and title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for the HUD-VASH program, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit annual reports to the Committees...
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Financial Services on November 14, 2019
H.R. 2398 would increase the number of veterans who are eligible for the Housing and Urban Development-Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. HUD-VASH is jointly operated by both departments to provide rental assistance to homeless veterans and their families. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) coordinates health care, counseling, and other services for veterans who receive rental assistance under the program.
Under the bill, individuals who are discharged from the military for bad conduct or conduct that is other than honorable would be newly eligible for rental assistance vouchers through HUD-VASH. That program provided roughly 81,500 vouchers at an average annual cost of $11,000 in 2019. Using information from the Department of Defense on discharged service members and other data on homeless veterans, CBO estimates that about 1,800 veterans would be newly eligible for those vouchers. On the basis of data from HUD, CBO estimates that 70 percent of homeless veterans who are eligible for the program under current law received the rental assistance. After applying that factor to the newly eligible veterans, CBO estimates that about 1,300 veterans would eventually receive benefits if the bill was enacted.