REP LIEU CALLS ON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO PROTECT FUNDING FOR HOMELESS VETERANS
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) joined 11 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) urging the Department to reverse its decision to realign funding for homeless veterans from the Specific Purpose Fund to the General Purpose Fund. This change could jeopardize the VA’s ability to ensure that veterans in the program have access to a case manager—a critical part of procuring medical help, affordable housing and substance abuse counseling for those who need it the most.
In the letter, the members write:
“The funding realignment proposed in the September 22nd memorandum could result in the removal of funding for HUD-VASH program case management, the lynchpin component of the programmatic partnership between HUD and the VA. Case management funding is crucial in combatting veteran homelessness and ensuring that veterans can retain affordable, stable housing and access to the services and care to which they are entitled. As representatives of the largest population of homeless veterans in the country, we urge you to consider the effects this budgetary change could have on veterans facing homelessness and housing insecurity in our districts.”
“We also urge the VA to consider whether such a funding realignment would comply with the statutory requirements governing the HUD-VASH program. According to VA 385 USC 2003(b), the VA must ensure adequate funding to guarantee that every veteran in the HUD-VASH program has access to and is able to see a case manager. Removing or realigning funding may jeopardize the VA’s compliance with statutory requirements if caseload rations become unmanageable at a time when the needs of homeless veterans are still overwhelming.”