Disabled Veterans National Foundation Announces Support for Bill to Fund Rehabilitation and Repairs to Homes of Disabled and Elderly Veterans

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HAVEN (Housing Assistance for Veterans Act of 2012) bill would establish program to give grants to nonprofit organizations for repair of disabled and low-income veterans.

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF), a nonprofit organization that exists to help to men and women who come home with emotional and physical wounds after serving the country, announces its support for a bill that would allocate funds for critically needed repairs and modifications to the homes of disabled and low-income veterans.

House Resolution 6381 was introduced by U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) and heard by the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services. It is awaiting presentation to Congress.

“The DVNF is very concerned about the housing difficulties faced by our veterans, and is pleased to support this bill,” said Delise Harvey, Interim Executive Director of the DVNF. “It’s vitally important that all veteran support agencies and the U.S. government work closely together to address the growing and very troubling hardships that disabled and elderly veterans face in their quest to find and keep safe, clean and affordable places to call home.”

The bill, called HAVEN (Housing Assistance for Veterans Act of 2012), would establish a pilot program authorizing the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to give grants to nonprofit organizations specifically for repairing and modifying the homes of disabled and low-income veterans.

More than 1.4 million veterans live in poverty, with 4.3 million veteran homeowners reporting a disability, according to data from the National Housing Conference and the U.S. Census Bureau. One-quarter of post-9/11 veterans return home with a service-connected disability.

Veterans with severe injuries often cannot find housing with necessary features such as wheelchair ramps and wheelchair accessible showers. The same is true for thousands of older veterans, many who live with rickety stairs and leaky roofs, and without heat or hot water - dangerous but easily correctable conditions.

The grants would provide housing and veteran service organizations with funds to repair areas like roofs, floors and wiring, and retrofit homes with handicap accessible features such as handrails, ramps and wider doorways. These types of repairs sound simple, said Harvey, but go a long way toward preventing veterans from being moved to costly health care facilities. The grants could be used on homes owned by veterans as well as by family members who are providing them with permanent housing. Harvey said the program would foster partnerships between nonprofits, volunteers and private investors.

“Veterans who can stay in their own homes have a much greater chance of successfully integrating back into society and retaining their dignity,” Harvey added. “These heroes have sacrificed their health for our country, and they deserve to have safe and functional homes.”

About Disabled Veterans National Foundation: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to change the lives of men and women who came home wounded or sick after serving our country. A nonprofit 501c3, DVNF was founded in the fall of 2007 by six women veterans to provide disabled men and women of the military with help obtaining housing, medical care, counseling and meaningful jobs. For more information, visit http://www.dvnf.org.

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