Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121800
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File Number: 121800 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-742-12 Control: County Commission
File Name: PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS & FUNDING FOR DISABLED VETERANS Introduced: 9/7/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/18/2012
Agenda Date: 9/18/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A4
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS AND FUNDING FOR HOUSING FOR DISABLED VETERANS; SUPPORTING H.R. 6111, WHICH ALLOWS CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS TO QUALIFY FOR ADDITIONAL FEDERAL HOUSING BENEFITS
Indexes: DISABLED
  VETERANS
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/18/2012 11A4 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Heyman requested to be added as a co-sponsor.

County Attorney 9/7/2012 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS AND FUNDING FOR HOUSING FOR DISABLED VETERANS; SUPPORTING H.R. 6111, WHICH ALLOWS CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS TO QUALIFY FOR ADDITIONAL FEDERAL HOUSING BENEFITS

BODY
WHEREAS, for more than 200 years, individuals from all walks of life have taken up arms and sworn an oath to support and defend the principles upon which our country was founded; and
WHEREAS, throughout our history, courageous men and women have donned the uniform of our Armed Forces and built a noble tradition of faithful and dedicated service to our nation; and
WHEREAS, the commitment of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen has preserved our freedoms and saved millions around the world from tyranny; and
WHEREAS, we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to those heroic men and women who served, and this is particularly the case for those veterans who were killed or wounded in battle; and
WHEREAS, when disabled veterans return home from fighting, they should receive every opportunity for medical care, education, jobs and housing; and
WHEREAS, nonetheless, the U.S. Veterans Administration estimates that there were over 60,000 homeless veterans living in the United States in 2011, many with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the Veterans Administration has three types of accessible housing grants available to veterans:
* The Specially Adapted Housing grant, currently limited to $50,000, is generally used to create a wheelchair-accessible home for those who may require such assistance for activities of daily living;

* The Special Housing Adaptations grant, currently limited to $10,000, is generally used to assist veterans with mobility throughout their homes due to blindness in both eyes, or the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands or extremities below the elbow; and

* The Temporary Residence Adaptation grant, is available to eligible disabled veterans who are temporarily living or intend to temporarily live in a home owned by a family member; and

WHEREAS, while the Specially Adapted Housing and Special Housing Adaptations grants require ownership and title to a house, in creating the Temporary Residence Adaptation grant, Congress recognized the need to allow veterans and active duty members who may not yet own homes to have access to the adaptive housing grant program; and
WHEREAS, Congress should provide additional programs and funding for disabled veterans given the sacrifices they have made for our nation; and
WHEREAS, low income severely disabled veterans also may receive “aid and attendance” benefits to help offset the cost having another person to assist in performing activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing and using the restroom; and
WHEREAS, such a disabled veteran can receive $8,191 in “aid and attendance” benefits annually for assisted living care to supplement the cost of their medical care; and
WHEREAS, this amount only partially offsets the cost of such medical care, as the Congressional Research Service estimates that the median annual cost for a licensed home health aide is $18,179, the cost of an assisted living facility is $39,600 and the median cost of a room in a nursing home is between $73,000 and $81,000 annually; and
WHEREAS, to make matters worse, the $8,191 in “aid and attendance” benefits counts as income for the receiving disabled veteran, creating financial hardship and making it more difficult for the disabled veteran to qualify for federal housing programs; and
WHEREAS, a bill has been introduced for consideration during the 112th Congress, H.R. 6111 by Representative Joseph Heck (R – Nevada) that would exempt “aid and attendance” benefits from income when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines veteran housing subsidies; and
WHEREAS, passage of H.R. 6111 would allow low income severely disabled veterans to qualify for additional federal housing benefits,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the U.S. Congress to provide additional funding for housing for disabled veterans.
Section 2. Supports the passage of H.R. 6111 or similar legislation allowing disabled veterans to qualify for additional federal housing benefits.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation and Representative Joseph Heck.
Section 4. Directs the County’s federal and state lobbyists to advocate for the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2013 federal legislative packages when it is presented to the Board.



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