Washington, DC – October 1, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Congressman Glenn Nye (VA-02) is usually the one asking the questions – but today, he appeared as a witness in front of the subcommittee, testifying in support of his bill to help prevent veterans from becoming homeless.
Today’s subcommittee hearing is an important step forward for the Nye-Hunter Veterans Homelessness Prevention Act (H.R. 3073), which was introduced in June by Congressman Glenn Nye and Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-52) to provide emergency support to veterans in danger of losing their homes. The bill would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans with mortgage, rent, or utility payments during times of hardship.
“Instead of waiting for them to lose their homes before giving them a hand up, I want to prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place,” said Nye in his testimony to the subcommittee. “We can never fully repay a veteran for the sacrifice that they have made for this country, but the least we can do is provide them a sense of stability when they are having trouble searching for a job.”
Nye first announced the legislation during a visit to VetsHouse, Inc., a non-profit organization in Virginia Beach that assists homeless veterans.
Read more about the Nye-Hunter Homelessness Prevention Act here.
Testimony of Congressman Glenn Nye (VA-02) to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Health, in Support of H.R. 3073 the Nye-Hunter Veterans Homelessness Prevention Act of 2009
I am honored to testify on my legislation, H.R. 3073, which I have had the privilege of working on during my first term in Congress.
I am especially grateful to Chairman Michaud, the members of this committee, the veterans’ service organizations, and veterans themselves for their hard work and support in helping me bring this critical legislation to the forefront and for holding this hearing.
Just this past August the Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment data showing a dramatic increase in the number of unemployed veterans of OIF and OEF. In fact, the number is at an all time high of 185,000 unemployed, or 11.3%. To put this into perspective, there are only 9,000 more servicemembers currently serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan then there are unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the streets of the United States.
This recession is impacting every corner of this nation, yet nowhere is it more demoralizing than in our Armed Forces. The men and women who have served their country in uniform sacrificed life and limb to protect the freedoms we enjoy, yet when they return, some veterans are just a paycheck or two from losing their homes.
This is why I have introduced H.R. 3073, a common sense measure that will provide financial support to veterans who are unable to make rental or mortgage payments and are in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure. Instead of waiting for them to lose their homes before giving them a hand up, I want to prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.
The bill would authorize a program in the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide short-term assistance to veterans in danger of losing their homes. Veterans who demonstrate that they are on the verge of losing their homes due to an inability to make mortgage or rent payments would be eligible to apply for support. Payments would be made on behalf of the veteran to the landlord, mortgage company, or utility company for up to three months. Veterans would also be provided with support services to prevent future homelessness, which may include job training, mental health and substance abuse treatment
We can never fully repay a veteran for the sacrifice that they have made for this country, but the least we can do is provide them a sense of stability when they are having trouble searching for a job. This bipartisan bill will help bridge the gap for veterans who are struggling and give them the chance to get back on their feet.
Again, I thank the Chairman for allowing me to testify on behalf of this critical legislation, and I am confident that we can take this positive step forward to help our veterans in need.