H.R. 8003 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide food, clothing, bedding, hygiene items, shelter, transportation, communication devices and services, and other necessary assistance to veterans who are homeless or using rental vouchers. Similar authority was temporarily available during the public health emergency declared as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. On the basis of the costs for those items and services, CBO estimates that permanently authorizing the assistance would increase outlays by $59 million over the 2022-2032 period.
Some of the beneficiaries of the homeless assistance in H.R. 8003 would be veterans who have been exposed to environmental hazards, and CBO expects that some of the costs of implementing the bill would be paid from the new Toxic Exposure Fund (TEF) established by Public Law 117-168, the Honoring our PACT Act. The TEF is a mandatory appropriation that VA will use to pay for health care, disability claims processing, medical research, and IT modernization that benefit veterans who were exposed to environmental hazards.