Text: H.R.7105 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/04/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 7105 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 7105

To provide flexibility for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in caring 
for homeless veterans during a covered public health emergency, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 4, 2020

 Mr. Levin of California (for himself, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Takano, Mr. 
    David P. Roe of Tennessee, Mr. Pappas, Mr. Banks, Mr. Bost, Mr. 
 Bergman, Mr. Cisneros, and Ms. Brownley of California) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' 
 Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period 
    to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide flexibility for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in caring 
for homeless veterans during a covered public health emergency, and for 
                            other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Homeless Veterans Coronavirus 
Response Act of 2020''.

SEC. 2. FLEXIBILITY FOR THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS IN CARING FOR 
              HOMELESS VETERANS DURING A COVERED PUBLIC HEALTH 
              EMERGENCY.

    (a) General Support.--
            (1) Use of funds.--During a covered public health 
        emergency, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may use amounts 
        appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs to carry out sections 2011, 2012, 2031, and 
        2061 of title 38, United States Code, to provide to homeless 
        veterans and veterans participating in the program carried out 
        under section 8(o)(19) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 
        (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)) (commonly referred to as ``HUD-
        VASH''), as the Secretary determines is needed, the following:
                    (A) Assistance required for safety and survival 
                (such as food, shelter, clothing, blankets, and hygiene 
                items).
                    (B) Transportation required to support stability 
                and health (such as for appointments with service 
                providers, conducting housing searches, and obtaining 
                food and supplies).
                    (C) Communications equipment and services (such as 
                tablets, smartphones, disposable phones, and related 
                service plans) required to support stability and health 
                (such as maintaining contact with service providers, 
                prospective landlords, and family).
                    (D) Such other assistance as the Secretary 
                determines is needed.
            (2) Homeless veterans on land of the department.--
                    (A) Collaboration.--During a covered public health 
                emergency, to the extent possible, the Secretary may 
                collaborate with one or more organizations to manage 
                use of land of the Department for homeless veterans for 
                living and sleeping.
                    (B) Elements.--Collaboration under subparagraph (A) 
                may include the provision by either the Secretary or 
                the organization of food services and security for 
                property, buildings, and other facilities owned or 
                controlled by the Department.
    (b) Grant and Per Diem Program.--
            (1)  Limits on rates for per diem payments.--Section 
        20013(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security 
        Act (Public Law 116-136) is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;
                    (B) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), as so 
                redesignated, by inserting ``(1)'' before ``In the 
                case''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(2) If the Secretary waives any limit on grant amounts or rates 
for per diem payments under paragraph (1), notwithstanding section 
2012(a)(2)(B) of such title, the maximum rate for per diem payments 
described in paragraph (1)(B) shall be three times the rate authorized 
for State homes for domiciliary care under section 1741 of such 
title.''.
            (2) Use of per diem payments.--During a covered public 
        health emergency, a recipient of a grant or an eligible entity 
        under the grant and per diem program of the Department (in this 
        subsection referred to as the ``program'') may use per diem 
        payments under sections 2012 and 2061 of title 38, United 
        States Code, to provide assistance required for safety and 
        survival (such as food, shelter, clothing, blankets, and 
        hygiene items) for--
                    (A) homeless veterans; and
                    (B) formerly homeless veterans residing in a 
                facility operated wholly or in part by such a recipient 
                or eligible entity receiving per diem payments under 
                section 2012 of such title.
            (3) Additional transitional housing.--
                    (A) In general.--During a covered public health 
                emergency, under the program, the Secretary may provide 
                amounts for additional transitional housing beds to 
                facilitate access to housing and services provided to 
                homeless veterans.
                    (B) Notice; competition; period of performance.--
                The Secretary may provide amounts under subparagraph 
                (A)--
                            (i) without notice or competition; and
                            (ii) for a period of performance determined 
                        by the Secretary.
            (4) Inspections and life safety code requirements.--
                    (A) In general.--During a covered public health 
                emergency, the Secretary may waive any requirement 
                under subsection (b) or (c) of section 2012 of title 
                38, United States Code, in order to allow the recipient 
                of a grant or an eligible entity under the program--
                            (i) to quickly identify temporary alternate 
                        sites of care for homeless veterans that are 
                        suitable for habitation;
                            (ii) to facilitate social distancing or 
                        isolation needs; or
                            (iii) to facilitate activation or 
                        continuation of a program for which a grant has 
                        been awarded.
                    (B) Limitation.--The Secretary may waive a 
                requirement pursuant to the authority provided by 
                subparagraph (A) with respect to a facility of a 
                recipient of a grant or an eligible entity under the 
                program only if the facility meets applicable local 
                safety requirements, including fire safety 
                requirements.
    (c) Inspection and Life Safety Code Requirements for Therapeutic 
Housing.--
            (1) In general.--During a covered public health emergency, 
        the Secretary may waive any inspection or life safety code 
        requirement under subsection (c) of section 2032 of title 38, 
        United States Code--
                    (A) to allow quick identification of temporary 
                alternate sites of care for homeless veterans that are 
                suitable for habitation;
                    (B) to facilitate social distancing or isolation 
                needs; or
                    (C) to facilitate the operation of housing under 
                such section.
            (2) Limitation.--The Secretary may waive a requirement 
        pursuant to the authority provided by paragraph (1) with 
        respect to a residence or facility referred to in such section 
        2032 only if the residence or facility, as the case may be, 
        meets applicable local safety requirements, including fire 
        safety requirements.
    (d) Access to Department of Veterans Affairs Telehealth Services.--
To the extent practicable, during a covered public health emergency, 
the Secretary shall ensure that veterans participating in or receiving 
services from a program under chapter 20 of title 38, United States 
Code, have access to telehealth services to which such veterans are 
eligible under the laws administered by the Secretary, including by 
ensuring that telehealth capabilities are available to--
            (1) such veterans;
            (2) case managers of the Department of programs for 
        homeless veterans authorized under such chapter; and
            (3) community-based service providers for homeless veterans 
        receiving funds from the Department through grants or 
        contracts.
    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Covered public health emergency.--The term ``covered 
        public health emergency'' means an emergency with respect to 
        COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority.
            (2) Homeless veteran; veteran.--The terms ``homeless 
        veteran'' and ``veteran'' have the meanings given those terms 
        in section 2002 of title 38, United States Code.
            (3) Telehealth.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``telehealth'' means the 
                use of electronic information and telecommunications 
                technologies to support and promote long-distance 
                clinical health care, patient and professional health-
                related education, public health, and health 
                administration.
                    (B) Technologies.--For purposes of subparagraph 
                (A), ``telecommunications technologies'' include video 
                conferencing, the internet, streaming media, and 
                terrestrial and wireless communications.

SEC. 3. EMERGENCY DESIGNATIONS.

    (a) In General.--This Act is designated as an emergency requirement 
pursuant to section 4(g) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (2 
U.S.C. 933(g)).
    (b) Designation in Senate.--In the Senate, this Act is designated 
as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 4112(a) of H. Con. Res. 
71 (115th Congress), the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal 
year 2018.
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