What is House Bill H.R. 474?
This bill would re-authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) through fiscal year 2020. The HVRP helps reintegrate homeless veterans by offering job training, counseling, and placement services. People eligible for HVRP services include:
Homeless veterans, participants in VA-supported housing, and veterans who are transitioning from being incarcerated, taxpayers, the VA.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 474
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable. However, the program generally runs on $38 million until it expires in 2015.
Of Note: Homeless veterans comprise as much as 12 percent of the total homeless population in the U.S. While there are approximately 49,333 veterans that are homeless on any given night in the U.S., an estimated 1.4 million vets are considered to be at risk of homelessness.
According to a report from December 2013, there were about 700,000 veterans who were incarcerated in prisons and jails. In April 2015, there were over 507,000 unemployed veterans, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
In-Depth: The HVRP provides competitive grants to entities that offer services directly to homeless and vulnerable veterans to help them get housing and employment. It is currently funded at $38 million, and is set to expire in 2015.
This bill was passed by voice vote in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.