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107th Congress                                            Rept. 107-241
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
 STUART COLLICK--HEATHER FRENCH HENRY HOMELESS VETERANS ASSISTANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

                October 16, 2001.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Smith of New Jersey, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2716]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2716) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
revise, improve, and consolidate provisions of law providing 
benefits and services for homeless veterans, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, 
                    UNITED STATES CODE.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Stuart Collick--
Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents; references to title 38, United 
States Code.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. National goal to end homelessness among veterans.
Sec. 4. Sense of the Congress regarding the needs of homeless veterans 
and the responsibility of Federal agencies.
Sec. 5. Consolidation and improvement of provisions of law relating to 
homeless veterans.
Sec. 6. Evaluation of homeless programs.
Sec. 7. Study of outcome effectiveness of grant program for homeless 
veterans with special needs.
Sec. 8. Additional programmatic expansions.
Sec. 9. Coordination of employment services.
Sec. 10. Use of real property.
Sec. 11. Meetings of Interagency Council on Homeless.
Sec. 12. Rental assistance vouchers for HUD Veterans Affairs Supported 
Housing program.
  (c) References to Title 38 United States Code.--Except as otherwise 
expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is 
expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other 
provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or 
other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  For purposes of this Act:
          (1) The term ``homeless veteran'' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 2002 of title 38, United States Code, as added 
        by section 5(a)(1).
          (2) The term ``grant and per diem provider'' means an entity 
        in receipt of a grant under section 2011 or 2012 of title 38, 
        United States Code.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL GOAL TO END HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS.

  (a) National Goal.--Congress hereby declares it to be a national goal 
to end chronic homelessness among veterans within a decade of the 
enactment of this Act.
  (b) Cooperative Efforts Encouraged.--Congress hereby encourages all 
departments and agencies of Federal, State, and local governments, 
quasi-governmental organizations, private and public sector entities, 
including community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and 
individuals to work cooperatively to end chronic homelessness among 
veterans within a decade.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS VETERANS 
                    AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FEDERAL AGENCIES.

  It is the sense of the Congress that--
          (1) homelessness is a significant problem in the veterans 
        community and veterans are disproportionately represented among 
        homeless men;
          (2) While many effective programs assist homeless veterans to 
        again become productive and self-sufficient members of society, 
        current resources provided to such programs and other 
        activities that assist homeless veterans are inadequate to 
        provide all needed essential services, assistance, and support 
        to homeless veterans;
          (3) the most effective programs for the assistance of 
        homeless veterans should be identified and expanded;
          (4) federally funded programs for homeless veterans should be 
        held accountable for achieving clearly defined results;
          (5) Federal efforts to assist homeless veterans should 
        include prevention of homelessness; and
          (6) Federal agencies, particularly the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
        should cooperate more fully to address the problem of 
        homelessness among veterans.

SEC. 5. CONSOLIDATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATING TO 
                    HOMELESS VETERANS.

  (a) In General.--(1) Part II is amended by inserting after chapter 19 
the following new chapter:

              ``CHAPTER 20--BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

      ``subchapter i--purpose; definitions; administrative matters

``Sec.
``2001. Purpose.
``2002. Definitions.
``2003. Staffing requirements.
``2004. Employment assistance.

            ``subchapter ii--comprehensive service programs

``2011. Grants.
``2012. Per diem payments.
``2013. Authorization of appropriations.

                ``subchapter iii--training and outreach

``2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.
``2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
homelessness.
``2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling for 
veterans transitioning from certain institutions who are at risk for 
homelessness.

 ``subchapter iv--treatment and rehabilitation for seriously mentally 
                       ill and homeless veterans

``2031. General treatment.
``2032. Therapeutic housing.
``2033. Additional services at certain locations.
``2034. Coordination with other agencies and organizations.

                   ``subchapter v--housing assistance

``2041. Housing assistance for homeless veterans.
``2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in compensated 
work therapies.
``2043. Domiciliary care programs.

  ``subchapter vi--loan guarantee for multifamily transitional housing

``2051. General authority.
``2052. Requirements.
``2053. Default.
``2054. Audit.

                   ``subchapter vii--other provisions

``2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special needs.
``2062. Dental care.
``2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based 
groups.
``2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans.
``2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.

      ``SUBCHAPTER I--PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS; ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

``Sec. 2001. Purpose

  ``The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the special needs of 
homeless veterans.

``Sec. 2002. Definitions

  ``In this chapter:
          ``(1) The term `homeless veteran' means a veteran who--
                  ``(A) lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime 
                residence; or
                  ``(B) has a primary nighttime residence that is--
                          ``(i) a supervised publicly or privately 
                        operated shelter designed to provide temporary 
                        living accommodations (including welfare 
                        hotels, congregate shelters, grant per diem 
                        shelters and transitional housing for the 
                        mentally ill);
                          ``(ii) an institution that provides a 
                        temporary residence for individuals intended to 
                        be institutionalized; or
                          ``(iii) a public or private place not 
                        designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular 
                        sleeping accommodation for human beings.
          ``(2) The term `grant and per diem provider' means an entity 
        in receipt of a grant under section 2011 or 2012 of this title.

``Sec. 2003. Staffing requirements

  ``(a) VBA Staffing at Regional Offices.--The Secretary shall ensure 
that there is assigned at each Veterans Benefits Administration 
regional office at least one employee assigned specifically to oversee 
and coordinate homeless veterans programs in that region. In any such 
regional office with at least 140 employees, there shall be at least 
one full-time employee assigned to such functions. The programs covered 
by such oversight and coordination include the following:
          ``(1) The housing program for veterans supported by the 
        Department of Housing and Urban Development.
          ``(2) Housing programs supported by the Secretary under this 
        title or any other provision of law.
          ``(3) The homeless veterans reintegration program of the 
        Department of Labor under section 2021 of this title.
          ``(4) The programs under section 2033 of this title.
          ``(5) The assessments required by section 2034 of this title.
          ``(6) Such other duties relating to homeless veterans as may 
        be assigned.
  ``(b) VHA Case Managers.--The Secretary shall ensure that the number 
of case managers in the Veterans Health Administration is sufficient to 
assure that every veteran who is provided a housing voucher through 
section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 
1437f(o)) is assigned to, and is able to be seen as needed by, a case 
manager.

``Sec. 2004. Employment assistance

  ``The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans receiving care 
through vocational rehabilitation programs to participate in the 
compensated work therapy program under section 1718 of this title.

            ``SUBCHAPTER II--COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS

``Sec. 2011. Grants

  ``(a) Authority To Make Grants.--(1) Subject to the availability of 
appropriations provided for such purpose, the Secretary shall make 
grants to assist eligible entities in establishing programs to furnish, 
and expanding or modifying existing programs for furnishing, the 
following to homeless veterans:
          ``(A) Outreach.
          ``(B) Rehabilitative services.
          ``(C) Vocational counseling and training
          ``(D) Transitional housing assistance.
  ``(2) The authority of the Secretary to make grants under this 
section expires on September 30, 2005.
  ``(b) Criteria for Award of Grants.--The Secretary shall establish 
criteria and requirements for the award of a grant under this section, 
including criteria for entities eligible to receive such grants, and 
shall publish such criteria and requirements in the Federal Register. 
The criteria established under this section shall include the 
following:
          ``(1) Specification as to the kinds of projects for which 
        such grant support is available, which shall include--
                  ``(A) expansion, remodeling, or alteration of 
                existing buildings, or acquisition of facilities, for 
                use as service centers, transitional housing, or other 
                facilities to serve homeless veterans; and
                  ``(B) procurement of vans for use in outreach to, and 
                transportation for, homeless veterans to carry out the 
                purposes set forth in subsection (a).
          ``(2) Specification as to the number of projects for which 
        grant support is available.
          ``(3) Appropriate criteria for the staffing for the provision 
        of the services for which a grant under this section is 
        furnished.
          ``(4) Provisions to ensure that the award of grants under 
        this section--
                  ``(A) shall not result in duplication of ongoing 
                services; and
                  ``(B) to the maximum extent practicable, shall 
                reflect appropriate geographic dispersion and an 
                appropriate balance between urban and nonurban 
                locations.
          ``(5) Provisions to ensure that an entity receiving a grant 
        shall meet fire and safety requirements established by the 
        Secretary, which shall include--
                  ``(A) such State and community requirements that may 
                apply; and
                  ``(B) the fire and safety requirements applicable 
                under the Life Safety Code of the National Fire 
                Protection Association.
          ``(6) Specifications as to the means by which an entity 
        receiving a grant may contribute in-kind services to the start-
        up costs of any project for which support is sought and the 
        methodology for assigning a cost to that contribution for 
        purposes of subsection (c).
  ``(c) Funding Limitations.--A grant under this section may not be 
used to support operational costs. The amount of a grant under this 
section may not exceed 65 percent of the estimated cost of the 
expansion, remodeling, alteration, acquisition, or procurement provided 
for under this section.
  ``(d) Eligible Entities.--The Secretary may make a grant under this 
section to an entity applying for such a grant only if the applicant 
for the grant--
          ``(1) is a public or nonprofit private entity with the 
        capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to effectively 
        administer a grant under this section;
          ``(2) has demonstrated that adequate financial support will 
        be available to carry out the project for which the grant has 
        been sought consistent with the plans, specifications, and 
        schedule submitted by the applicant; and
          ``(3) has agreed to meet the applicable criteria and 
        requirements established under subsections (b) and (g) (and the 
        Secretary has determined that the applicant has demonstrated 
        the capacity to meet those criteria and requirements).
  ``(e) Application Requirement.--An entity described in subsection (d) 
desiring to receive assistance under this section shall submit to the 
Secretary an application. The application shall set forth the 
following:
          ``(1) The amount of the grant requested with respect to a 
        project.
          ``(2) A description of the site for such project.
          ``(3) Plans, specifications, and the schedule for 
        implementation of such project in accordance with requirements 
        prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b).
          ``(4) Reasonable assurance that upon completion of the work 
        for which assistance is sought, the program will become 
        operational and the facilities will be used principally to 
        provide to veterans the services for which the project was 
        designed, and that not more than 25 percent of the services 
        provided will serve clients who are not receiving such services 
        as veterans.
  ``(f) Program Requirements.--The Secretary may not make a grant to an 
applicant under this section unless the applicant, in the application 
for the grant, agrees to each of the following requirements:
          ``(1) To provide the services for which the grant is 
        furnished at locations accessible to homeless veterans.
          ``(2) To maintain referral networks for, and aid homeless 
        veterans in, establishing eligibility for assistance, and 
        obtaining services, under available entitlement and assistance 
        programs.
          ``(3) To ensure the confidentiality of records maintained on 
        homeless veterans receiving services under the grant.
          ``(4) To establish such procedures for fiscal control and 
        fund accounting as may be necessary to ensure proper 
        disbursement and accounting with respect to the grant and to 
        such payments as may be made under section 2012 of this title.
          ``(5) To seek to employ homeless veterans and formerly 
        homeless veterans in positions created for purposes of the 
        grant for which those veterans are qualified.
  ``(g) Service Center Requirements.--In addition to criteria 
established under subsection (b), the Secretary shall, in the case of 
an application for a grant for a service center for homeless veterans, 
require each of the following:
          ``(1) That such center provide services to homeless veterans 
        during such hours as the Secretary may specify and be open to 
        such veterans on an as-needed, unscheduled basis.
          ``(2) That space at such center will be made available, as 
        mutually agreeable, for use by staff of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and other 
        appropriate agencies and organizations in assisting homeless 
        veterans served by such center.
          ``(3) That such center be equipped and staffed to provide, or 
        to assist in providing, health care, mental health services, 
        hygiene facilities, benefits and employment counseling, meals, 
        transportation assistance, and such other services as the 
        Secretary determines necessary.
          ``(4) That such center may be equipped and staffed to 
        provide, or to assist in providing, job training and job 
        placement services (including job readiness, job counseling, 
        and literacy and skills training), as well as any outreach and 
        case management services that may be necessary to carry out 
        this paragraph.
  ``(h) Recovery of Unused Grant Funds.--(1) If a grant recipient (or 
entity eligible for such a grant) under this section does not establish 
a program in accordance with this section or ceases to furnish services 
under such a program for which the grant was made, the United States 
shall be entitled to recover from such recipient or entity the total of 
all unused grant amounts made under this section to such recipient or 
entity in connection with such program.
  ``(2) Any amount recovered by the United States under paragraph (1) 
may be obligated by the Secretary without fiscal year limitation to 
carry out provisions of this subchapter.
  ``(3) An amount may not be recovered under paragraph (1) as an unused 
grant amount before the end of the three-year period beginning on the 
date on which the grant is awarded.

``Sec. 2012. Per diem payments

  ``(a) Per Diem Payments for Furnishing Services to Homeless 
Veterans.--(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations provided 
for such purpose, the Secretary, pursuant to such criteria as the 
Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide to a recipient of a grant 
under section 2011 of this title (or an entity eligible to receive a 
grant under that section which after November 10, 1992, establishes a 
program that the Secretary determines carries out the purposes 
described in that section) per diem payments for services furnished to 
any homeless veteran--
          ``(A) whom the Secretary has referred to the grant recipient 
        (or entity eligible for such a grant); or
          ``(B) for whom the Secretary has authorized the provision of 
        services.
  ``(2) The rate for such per diem payments shall be the rate 
authorized for State homes for domiciliary care under section 
1741(a)(1)(A) of this title.
  ``(3) In a case in which the Secretary has authorized the provision 
of services, per diem payments under paragraph (1) may be paid 
retroactively for services provided not more than three days before the 
authorization was provided.
  ``(b) Inspections.--The Secretary may inspect any facility of an 
entity eligible for payments under subsection (a) at such times as the 
Secretary considers necessary. No per diem payment may be made to an 
entity under this section unless the facilities of that entity meet 
such standards as the Secretary shall prescribe.
  ``(c) Life Safety Code.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a 
per diem payment may not be provided under this section to a grant 
recipient unless the facilities of the grant recipient meet the fire 
and safety requirements applicable under the Life Safety Code of the 
National Fire Protection Association.
  ``(2) During the five-year period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of this section, paragraph (1) shall not apply to an entity 
that received a grant under section 3 of the Homeless Veterans 
Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-590; 38 
U.S.C. 7721 note) before that date if the entity meets fire and safety 
requirements established by the Secretary.
  ``(3) From amounts available for purposes of this section, not less 
than $5,000,000 shall be used only for grants to assist entities 
covered by paragraph (2) in meeting the Life Safety Code of the 
National Fire Protection Association.

``Sec. 2013. Authorization of appropriations

  ``There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
subchapter amounts as follows:
          ``(1) $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
          ``(2) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          ``(3) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
          ``(4) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.

                ``SUBCHAPTER III--TRAINING AND OUTREACH

``Sec. 2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs

  ``(a) In General.--Subject to the availability of appropriations 
provided for under subsection (d) and made available for such purpose, 
the Secretary of Labor shall conduct, directly or through grant or 
contract, such programs as the Secretary determines appropriate to 
provide job training, counseling, and placement services to expedite 
the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.
  ``(b) Requirement To Monitor Expenditures of Funds.--(1) The 
Secretary of Labor shall collect such information as the Secretary 
considers appropriate to monitor and evaluate the distribution and 
expenditure of funds appropriated to carry out this section. The 
information shall include data with respect to the results or outcomes 
of the services provided to each homeless veteran under this section.
  ``(2) The information under paragraph (1) shall be furnished to the 
Secretary of Labor in such form as the Secretary considers appropriate.
  ``(c) Administration Through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Veterans' Employment and Training.--The Secretary of Labor shall carry 
out this section through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
Employment and Training.
  ``(d) Annual Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Labor shall submit 
to Congress an annual report that evaluates services furnished to 
veterans under this section, and includes an analysis of the 
information collected under subsection (c).
  ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out this section amounts as follows:
          ``(A) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
          ``(B) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          ``(C) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
          ``(D) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
          ``(E) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2006.
  ``(2) Funds appropriated to carry out this section shall remain 
available until expended. Funds obligated in any fiscal year to carry 
out this section may be expended in that fiscal year and the succeeding 
fiscal year.

``Sec. 2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
                    homelessness

  ``(a) Outreach Plan.--The Secretary, acting through the Under 
Secretary for Health, shall provide for appropriate officials of the 
Mental Health Service and the Readjustment Counseling Service of the 
Veterans Health Administration to initiate a coordinated plan for joint 
outreach to veterans at risk of homelessness, including particularly 
veterans who are being discharged from institutions (including 
discharges from inpatient psychiatric care, substance abuse treatment 
programs, and penal institutions).
  ``(b) Matters To Be Included.--The outreach plan under subsection (a) 
shall include the following:
          ``(1) Strategies to identify and collaborate with external 
        entities used by veterans who have not traditionally used 
        Department services to further outreach efforts.
          ``(2) Strategies to ensure that mentoring programs, recovery 
        support groups, and other appropriate support networks are 
        optimally available to veterans.
          ``(3) Appropriate programs or referrals to family support 
        programs.
          ``(4) Means to increase access to case management services.
          ``(5) Plans for making additional employment services 
        accessible to veterans.
          ``(6) Appropriate referral sources for mental health and 
        substance abuse services.
  ``(c) Cooperative Relationships.--The plan shall identify strategies 
for the Department to enter into formal cooperative relationships with 
entities outside the Department to facilitate making services and 
resources optimally available to veterans.
  ``(d) Review of Plan.--The Secretary shall submit the plan under 
subsection (a) to the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans for its 
review and consultation.
  ``(e) Outreach Program.--(1) The Secretary shall carry out an 
outreach program to provide information to homeless veterans and 
veterans at risk of homelessness. The program shall include at a 
minimum--
          ``(A) provision of information about benefits available to 
        eligible veterans from the Department; and
          ``(B) contact information for local Department facilities, 
        including medical facilities, regional offices, and veterans 
        centers.
  ``(2) In developing and carrying out the program under paragraph (1), 
the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, consult with 
appropriate public and private organizations, including the Bureau of 
Prisons, State social service agencies, the Department of Defense, and 
mental health, veterans, and homeless advocates--
          ``(A) for assistance in identifying and contacting veterans 
        who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
          ``(B) to coordinate appropriate outreach activities with 
        those organizations; and
          ``(C) to coordinate services provided to veterans with 
        services provided by those organizations.
  ``(f) Submission of Report.--Not later than two years after the date 
of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the Secretary's plan under subsection (a), 
including goals and time lines for implementation of the plan for 
particular facilities and service networks.

``Sec. 2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling 
                    for veterans transitioning from certain 
                    institutions who are at risk for homelessness

  ``(a) Program Authority.--The Secretary and the Secretary of Labor 
(hereinafter in this section referred to as the `Secretaries') shall 
carry out a demonstration program for the purpose of determining the 
costs and benefits of providing referral and counseling services to 
eligible veterans with respect to benefits and services available to 
such veterans under this title and under State law.
  ``(b) Location of Demonstration Program.--The demonstration program 
shall be carried out in at least six locations. One location shall be a 
penal institution under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons.
  ``(c) Scope of Program.--(1) To the extent practicable, the 
demonstration program shall provide both referral and counseling, and 
in the case of counseling, shall include counseling with respect to job 
training and placement, housing, health care, and such other benefits 
to assist the eligible veteran in the transition from institutional 
living.
  ``(2)(A) To the extent that referral or counseling services are 
provided at a location under the program, referral services shall be 
provided in person during the 60-day period that precedes the date of 
release or discharge of the eligible veteran under subsection 
(f)(1)(B), and counseling services shall be furnished after such date.
  ``(B) The Secretaries may furnish to officials of penal institutions 
outreach information with respect to referral and counseling services 
for presentation to veterans in the custody of such officials during 
the 18-month period that precedes such date of release or discharge.
  ``(3) The Secretaries may enter into contracts to carry out the 
counseling required under the demonstration program with entities or 
organizations that meet such requirements as the Secretaries may 
establish.
  ``(4) In developing the demonstration program, the Secretaries shall 
consult with officials of the Bureau of Prisons, officials of penal 
institutions of States and political subdivisions of States, and such 
other officials as the Secretaries determine appropriate.
  ``(d) Report.--(1) Not later than two years after the commencement of 
the demonstration program, the Secretary (after consultation with the 
Secretary of Labor) shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on the program.
  ``(2) The report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
          ``(A) A description of the implementation and operation of 
        the program.
          ``(B) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.
          ``(C) Recommendations, if any, regarding an extension of the 
        program.
  ``(e) Duration.--The authority of the Secretaries to provide 
counseling services under the demonstration program shall cease on the 
date that is four years after the date of the commencement of the 
demonstration program.
  ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) The term `eligible veteran' means a veteran who--
                  ``(A) is a resident of a penal institution or an 
                institution that provides long-term care for mental 
                illness;
                  ``(B) is expected to be imminently released or 
                discharged (as the case may be) from the facility or 
                institution; and
                  ``(C) is at risk for homelessness absent referral and 
                counseling services provided under the program (as 
                determined under guidelines established by the 
                Secretaries).
          ``(2) The term `imminent' means, with respect to a release or 
        discharge under paragraph (1)(B), the 60-day period that ends 
        on the date of such release or discharge.

                   ``SUBCHAPTER V--HOUSING ASSISTANCE

``Sec. 2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in 
                    compensated work therapies

  ``The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans in the compensated 
work therapy program to be provided housing through the therapeutic 
residence program under section 2032 of title or through grant and per 
diem providers under subchapter II of this chapter.

``Sec. 2043. Domiciliary care programs

  ``(a) Authority.--The Secretary may establish up to 10 programs under 
section 1710(b) of this title (in addition to any such program that is 
established as of the date of the enactment of this section) to provide 
domiciliary services under such section to homeless veterans.
  ``(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 
and 2004 to establish the programs referred to in subsection (a).

                   ``SUBCHAPTER VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

``Sec. 2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special needs

  ``(a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall carry out a program to make 
grants to health care facilities of the Department and to grant and per 
diem providers in order to encourage development by those facilities 
and providers of programs targeted at meeting special needs within the 
population of homeless veterans.
  ``(b) Special Needs.--For purposes of this section, homeless veterans 
with special needs include homeless veterans who--
          ``(1) are women;
          ``(2) are 50 years of age or older;
          ``(3) are substance abusers;
          ``(4) are persons with post-traumatic stress disorder;
          ``(5) are terminally ill;
          ``(6) are chronically mentally ill; or
          ``(7) have care of minor dependents or other family members.
  ``(c) Funding.--(1) From amounts appropriated to the Department for 
`Medical Care' for each of fiscal years 2003, 2004, and 2005, the 
amount of $10,000,000 shall be available for the purposes of the 
program under this section.
  ``(2) The Secretary shall ensure that funds for grants under this 
section are designated for the first three years of operation of the 
program under this section as a special purpose program for which funds 
are not allocated through the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation 
system.

``Sec. 2062. Dental care

  ``(a) In General.--For purposes of section 1712(a)(1)(H) of this 
title, outpatient dental services and treatment of a dental condition 
or disability of a veteran described in subsection (b) shall be 
considered to be medically necessary, subject to subsection (c), if--
          ``(1) the dental services and treatment are necessary for the 
        veteran to successfully gain or regain employment;
          ``(2) the dental services and treatment are necessary to 
        alleviate pain; or
          ``(3) the dental services and treatment are necessary for 
        treatment of moderate, severe, or severe and complicated 
        gingival and periodontal pathology.
  ``(b) Eligible Veterans.--Subsection (a) applies to a veteran who 
is--
          ``(1) enrolled for care under section 1705(a) of this title; 
        and
          ``(2) who is receiving care (directly or by contract) in any 
        of the following settings:
                  ``(A) A domiciliary under section 1710 of this title.
                  ``(B) A therapeutic residence under section 2032 of 
                this title.
                  ``(C) Community residential care coordinated by the 
                Secretary of Veterans Affairs under section 1730 of 
                this title.
                  ``(D) A setting for which the Secretary provides 
                funds for a grant and per diem provider.
  ``(c) Limitation.--Dental benefits provided by reason of this section 
shall be a one-time course of dental care provided in the same manner 
as the dental benefits provided to a newly discharged veteran.

``Sec. 2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based 
                    groups

  ``(a) Grant Program.--The Secretary shall carry out a program to make 
technical assistance grants to nonprofit community-based groups with 
experience in providing assistance to homeless veterans in order to 
assist such groups in applying for grants under this chapter and other 
grants relating to addressing problems of homeless veterans.
  ``(b) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary the amount of $750,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 
2005 to carry out the program under this section.

``Sec. 2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans

  ``(a) Annual Report.--Not later than April 15 of each year, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives a report on the activities of the 
Department during the calendar year preceding the report under programs 
of the Department under this chapter and other programs of the 
Department for the provision of assistance to homeless veterans.
  ``(b) General Contents of Report.--Each report under subsection (a) 
shall include the following:
          ``(1) The number of homeless veterans provided assistance 
        under those programs.
          ``(2) The cost to the Department of providing such assistance 
        under those programs.
          ``(3) Any other information on those programs and on the 
        provision of such assistance that the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.
          ``(4) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness of the 
        programs of the Department (including residential work-therapy 
        programs, programs combining outreach, community-based 
        residential treatment, and case-management, and contract care 
        programs for alcohol and drug-dependence or use disabilities) 
        in providing assistance to homeless veterans.
          ``(5) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness of 
        programs established by recipients of grants under section 2011 
        of this title and a description of the experience of those 
        recipients in applying for and receiving grants from the 
        Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to serve primarily 
        homeless persons who are veterans.
  ``(c) Health Care Contents of Report.--Each report under subsection 
(a) shall include the following with respect to programs of the 
Department addressing health care needs of homeless veterans:
          ``(1) Information about expenditures, costs, and workload 
        under the program of the Department known as the Health Care 
        for Homeless Veterans program (HCHV).
          ``(2) Information about the veterans contacted through that 
        program.
          ``(3) Information about processes under that program.
          ``(4) Information about program treatment outcomes under that 
        program.
          ``(5) Information about supported housing programs.
          ``(6) Information about the Department's grant and per diem 
        provider program under subchapter II of this chapter.
          ``(7) Other information the Secretary considers relevant in 
        assessing the program.

``Sec. 2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans

  ``(a)(1) There is established in the Department the Advisory 
Committee on Homeless Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to 
as the `Committee').
  ``(2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 15 members 
appointed by the Secretary from among the following:
          ``(A) Veterans service organizations.
          ``(B) Advocates of homeless veterans and other homeless 
        individuals.
          ``(C) Community-based providers of services to homeless 
        individuals.
          ``(D) Previously homeless veterans.
          ``(E) State veterans affairs officials.
          ``(F) Experts in the treatment of individuals with mental 
        illness.
          ``(G) Experts in the treatment of substance use disorders.
          ``(H) Experts in the development of permanent housing 
        alternatives for lower income populations.
          ``(I) Experts in vocational rehabilitation.
          ``(J) Such other organizations or groups as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
  ``(3) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members--
          ``(A) the Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the 
        Secretary selected after consultation with the Assistant 
        Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment);
          ``(B) the Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the 
        Secretary);
          ``(C) the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or a 
        representative of the Secretary); and
          ``(D) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (or a 
        representative of the Secretary).
  ``(4) The Secretary shall determine the terms of service and pay and 
allowances of the members of the Committee, except that a term of 
service may not exceed three years. The Secretary may reappoint any 
member for additional terms of service.
  ``(b)(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and 
seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the provision by the 
Department of benefits and services to homeless veterans.
  ``(2)(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this subsection, 
the Committee shall--
          ``(i) assemble and review information relating to the needs 
        of homeless veterans;
          ``(ii) provide an on-going assessment of the effectiveness of 
        the policies, organizational structures, and services of the 
        Department in assisting homeless veterans; and
          ``(iii) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate means 
        of providing assistance to homeless veterans.
  ``(3) The Committee shall--
          ``(A) review the continuum of services provided by the 
        Department directly or by contract in order to define cross-
        cutting issues and to improve coordination of all services with 
        the Department that are involved in addressing the special 
        needs of homeless veterans;
          ``(B) identify (through the annual assessments under section 
        2034 of this title and other available resources) gaps in 
        programs of the Department in serving homeless veterans, 
        including identification of geographic areas with unmet needs, 
        and provide recommendations to address those program gaps;
          ``(C) identify gaps in existing information systems on 
        homeless veterans, both within and outside of the Department, 
        and provide recommendations about redressing problems in data 
        collection;
          ``(D) identify barriers under existing laws and policies to 
        effective coordination by the Department with other Federal 
        agencies and with State and local agencies addressing homeless 
        populations;
          ``(E) identify opportunities for increased liaison by the 
        Department with nongovernmental organizations and individual 
        groups addressing homeless populations;
          ``(F) with appropriate officials of the Department designated 
        by the Secretary, participate with the Interagency Council on 
        the Homeless under title II of the McKinney-Vento Homeless 
        Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11311 et seq.);
          ``(G) recommend appropriate funding levels for specialized 
        programs for homeless veterans provided or funded by the 
        Department;
          ``(H) recommend appropriate placement options for veterans 
        who, because of advanced age, frailty, or severe mental 
        illness, may not be appropriate candidates for vocational 
        rehabilitation or independent living; and
          ``(I) perform such other functions as the Secretary may 
        direct.
  ``(c)(1) Not later than March 31 of each year, the Committee shall 
submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the 
Department that relate to homeless veterans. Each such report shall 
include--
          ``(A) an assessment of the needs of homeless veterans;
          ``(B) a review of the programs and activities of the 
        Department designed to meet such needs;
          ``(C) a review of the activities of the Committee; and
          ``(D) such recommendations (including recommendations for 
        administrative and legislative action) as the Committee 
        considers appropriate.
  ``(2) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report under 
paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit to the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a copy of 
the report, together with any comments and recommendations concerning 
the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.
  ``(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other 
reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
  ``(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to 
the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all 
reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary 
since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to 
that section.
  ``(d) The Committee shall cease to exist December 31, 2006.''.
  (2) The tables of chapters before part I and at the beginning of part 
II are each amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 19 
the following new item:

``20. Benefits for Homeless Veterans........................    2001''.
  (b) Health Care.--(1) Subchapter VII of chapter 17 is transferred to 
chapter 20 (as added by subsection (a)), inserted after section 2023 
(as so added), and redesignated as subchapter IV, and sections 1771, 
1772, 1773, and 1774 therein are redesignated as sections 2031, 2032, 
2033, and 2034, respectively.
  (2) Subsection (a)(3) of section 2031, as so transferred and 
redesignated, is amended by striking ``section 1772 of this title'' and 
inserting ``section 2032 of this title''.
  (c) Housing Assistance.--Section 3735 is transferred to chapter 20 
(as added by subsection (a)), inserted after the heading for subchapter 
V, and redesignated as section 2041.
  (d) Multifamily Transitional Housing.--(1) Subchapter VI of chapter 
37 (other than section 3771) is transferred to chapter 20 (as added by 
subsection (a)) and inserted after section 2043 (as added by subsection 
(a)), and sections 3772, 3773, 3774, and 3775 therein are redesignated 
as sections 2051, 2052, 2053, and 2054, respectively.
  (2) Such subchapter is amended--
          (A) in the heading, by striking ``FOR HOMELESS VETERANS'';
          (B) in subsection (d)(1) of section 2051, as so transferred 
        and redesignated, by striking ``section 3773 of this title'' 
        and inserting ``section 2052 of this title''; and
          (C) in subsection (a) of section 2052, as so transferred and 
        redesignated, by striking ``section 3772 of this title'' and 
        inserting ``section 2051 of this title''.
  (3) Section 3771 is repealed.
  (e) Repeal of Codified Provisions.--The following provisions of law 
are repealed:
          (1) Sections 3, 4, and 12 of the Homeless Veterans 
        Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-590; 
        38 U.S.C. 7721 note).
          (2) Section 1001 of the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act 
        of 1994 (Public Law 103-446; 38 U.S.C. 7721 note).
          (3) Section 4111.
          (4) Section 738 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 11448).
  (f) Extension of Expiring Authorities.--Subsection (b) of section 
2031, as redesignated by subsection (b)(1), and subsection (d) of 
section 2033, as so redesignated, are amended by striking ``December 
31, 2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 2006''.
  (g) Clerical Amendments.--
          (1) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 is 
        amended by striking the item relating to subchapter VII and the 
        items relating to sections 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774.
          (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 37 is 
        amended--
                  (A) by striking the item relating to section 3735; 
                and
                  (B) by striking the item relating to subchapter VI 
                and the items relating to sections 3771, 3772, 3773, 
                3774, and 3775.
          (3) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 41 is 
        amended by striking the item relating to section 4111.

SEC. 6. EVALUATION OF HOMELESS PROGRAMS.

  (a) Evaluation Centers.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
support the continuation within the Department of Veterans Affairs of 
at least one center for evaluation to monitor the structure, process, 
and outcome of programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs that 
address homeless veterans.
  (b) Annual Program Assessment.--Section 2034(b), as transferred and 
redesignated by section 5(b)(1), is amended--
          (1) by inserting ``annual'' in paragraph (1) after ``to make 
        an''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(6) The Secretary shall review each annual assessment under this 
subsection and shall consolidate the findings and conclusions of those 
assessments into an annual report to be submitted to Congress.''.

SEC. 7. STUDY OF OUTCOME EFFECTIVENESS OF GRANT PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS 
                    VETERANS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

  (a) Study.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct a study 
of the effectiveness during fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2004 
of the grant program under section 2061 of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by section 5(a), in meeting the needs of homeless 
veterans with special needs (as specified in that section). As part of 
the study, the Secretary shall compare the results of programs carried 
out under that section, in terms of veterans' satisfaction, health 
status, reduction in addiction severity, housing, and encouragement of 
productive activity, with results for similar veterans in programs of 
the Department or of grant and per diem providers that are designed to 
meet the general needs of homeless veterans.
  (b) Report.--Not later than March 31, 2005, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House 
of Representatives a report setting forth the results of the study 
under subsection (a).

SEC. 8. ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMATIC EXPANSIONS.

  (a) Access to Mental Health Services.--Section 1706 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(c) The Secretary shall develop standards to ensure that mental 
health services are available to veterans in a manner similar to the 
manner in which primary care is available to veterans who require 
services by ensuring that each primary care health care facility of the 
Department has a mental health treatment capacity.''.
  (b) Comprehensive Homeless Services Program.--Subsection (b) of 
section 2033, as transferred and redesignated by section 5(b)(1), is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``not fewer'' in the first sentence and all 
        that follows through ``services) at''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
        Secretary shall carry out the program under this section in 
        sites in at least each of the 20 largest metropolitan 
        statistical areas.''.
  (c) Opioid Substitution Therapy.--Section 1720A is amended by adding 
at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d) The Secretary shall ensure that opioid substitution therapy is 
available at each Department medical center.''.

SEC. 9. COORDINATION OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.

  (a) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program.--Section 4103A(c) is amended 
by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(11) Coordination of services provided to veterans with 
        training assistance provided to veterans by entities receiving 
        financial assistance under section 2021 of this title.''.
  (b) Local Veterans' Employment Representatives.--Section 4104(b) is 
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(13) Coordinate services provided to veterans with training 
        assistance for veterans provided by entities receiving 
        financial assistance under section 2021 of this title.''.

SEC. 10. USE OF REAL PROPERTY.

  (a) Limitation on Declaring Property Excess to the Needs of the 
Department.--Section 8122(d) is amended by inserting before the period 
at the end the following: ``and is not suitable for use for the 
provision of services to homeless veterans by the Department or by 
another entity under an enhanced-use lease of such property under 
section 8162 of this title''.
  (b) Waiver of Competitive Selection Process for Enhanced-Use Leases 
for Properties Used To Serve Homeless Veterans.--Section 8162(b)(1) is 
amended--
          (1) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``(b)(1)''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
  ``(B) In the case of a property that the Secretary determines is 
appropriate for use as a facility to furnish services to homeless 
veterans under chapter 20 of this title, the Secretary may enter into 
an enhanced-use lease without regard to the selection procedures 
required under subparagraph (A).''.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (b) shall 
apply to leases entered into on or after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.

SEC. 11. MEETINGS OF INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESS.

  Section 202(c) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 
U.S.C. 11312(c)) is amended to read as follows:
  ``(c) Meetings.--The Council shall meet at the call of its 
Chairperson or a majority of its members, but not less often than 
annually.''.

SEC. 12. RENTAL ASSISTANCE VOUCHERS FOR HUD VETERANS AFFAIRS SUPPORTED 
                    HOUSING PROGRAM.

  Section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 
1437f(o)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(19) Rental vouchers for veterans affairs supported housing 
        program.--
                  ``(A) Set aside.--Subject to subparagraph (C), the 
                Secretary shall set aside, from amounts made available 
                for rental assistance under this subsection, the 
                amounts specified in subparagraph (B) for use only for 
                providing such assistance through a supported housing 
                program administered in conjunction with the Department 
                of Veterans Affairs. Such program shall provide rental 
                assistance on behalf of homeless veterans who have 
                chronic mental illnesses or chronic substance use 
                disorders, shall require agreement of the veteran to 
                continued treatment for such mental illness or 
                substance use disorder as a condition of receipt of 
                such rental assistance, and shall ensure such treatment 
                and appropriate case management for each veteran 
                receiving such rental assistance.
                  ``(B) Amount.--The amount specified in this 
                subparagraph is--
                          ``(i) for fiscal year 2003, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 500 vouchers for rental 
                        assistance under this subsection;
                          ``(ii) for fiscal year 2004, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 1,000 vouchers for rental 
                        assistance under this subsection;
                          ``(iii) for fiscal year 2005, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 1,500 vouchers for rental 
                        assistance under this subsection; and
                          ``(iv) for fiscal year 2006, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 2,000 vouchers for rental 
                        assistance under this subsection.
                  ``(C) Funding through incremental assistance.--In any 
                fiscal year, to the extent that this paragraph requires 
                the Secretary to set aside rental assistance amounts 
                for use under this paragraph in an amount that exceeds 
                that set aside in the preceding fiscal year, such 
                requirement shall be effective only to such extent or 
                in such amounts as are or have been provided in 
                appropriation Acts for such fiscal year for incremental 
                rental assistance under this subsection.''.

                              Introduction

    H.R. 2716, as amended, addresses a wide range of issues 
regarding homeless veterans in the United States. These issues 
emerged from continuing reports that homeless assistance 
programs authorized by Federal law and conducted by a variety 
of Federal, state, municipal and voluntary agencies, under 
direct, grant or contract programs, are not fully effective in 
addressing chronic homelessness in the American veteran 
population. The Committee held hearings, meetings and conducted 
other oversight during the course of this session, and 
developed this consensus legislation.
    On April 3, 2001, the Subcommittee on Health, Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs, held a hearing concerning the current state 
of health care in the VA, with special concern about the mental 
health programs, homeless assistance and rehabilitation 
programs, the specialized and unique health care programs and 
resources in VA dedicated to the most vulnerable and seriously 
ill veterans. Those testifying at the hearing included: the 
Honorable Thomas L. Garthwaite, Under Secretary for Health, 
Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Frances M. Murphy, Deputy 
Undersecretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. 
John G. Clarkson, Senior Vice President Medical Affairs and 
Dean University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL; Dr. 
George Thibault, Chairman, Special Medical Advisory Group, 
Department of Veterans Affairs, Vice President and Chairman of 
Clinical Affairs, Partners Health Care, Inc.; Mr. James R. 
Fischl, Director, National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation 
Commission, The American Legion; Mr. Paul A. Hayden, Associate 
Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign 
Wars; Ms. Joy J. Ilem, Assistant National Legislative Director, 
Disabled American Veterans; Mr. John Bollinger, Deputy 
Executive Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Mr. Richard 
Jones, National Legislative Director, AMVETS; Mr. Bobby J. 
Harnage, Sr., National President, American Federation of 
Government Employees; Ms. Ellen M Pitts, R.N., President, VA 
Medical Center, Brockton, MA, Local R1-187, National 
Association of Government Employees; and Ms. Elaine Gerace, 
R.N., Divisional President, VA Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, 
Local 200B, Service Employees International Union.
    On June 20, 2001, the Committee's Subcommittee on Health 
held a hearing to receive testimony concerning serious mental 
illness, including substance use disorder and homelessness in 
veterans. Those testifying at the hearing included: the 
Honorable Thomas L. Garthwaite, Under Secretary for Health, 
Department of Veterans Affairs; Mr. Peter H. Dougherty, 
Director, Homeless Veterans Programs, Office of Public and 
Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. 
Paul Errera, Connecticut VA Health System, and former Director, 
VHA Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service; Dr. Laurent 
S. Lehmann, Chief Consultant, Mental Health and Behavioral 
Sciences Services, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Miklos 
Losonczy, New Jersey VA Health System and Co-chair, VA Advisory 
Committee on Serious Mental Illness; Dr. Richard McCormick, 
Ohio VA Health System and Co-chair, VA Advisory Committee on 
Serious Mental Illness; Dr. Bruce Rounsaville, Connecticut VA 
Health System and Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University; Ms. 
Linda Boone, Executive Director, National Coalition for 
Homeless Veterans; Dennis Culhane, Ph.D., Associate Professor, 
University of Pennsylvania, Fred Frese, Ph.D., Chair, Veterans 
Committee, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; Mr. Ralph 
Ibson, Vice President for Government Affairs, National Mental 
Health Association; Mr. Richard Fuller, National Legislative 
Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Ms. Joy J. Ilem, 
Assistant National Legislative Director, Disabled American 
Veterans; Ms. Linda Spoonster-Schwartz, Associate Research 
Scientist, Yale University School of Nursing; and Mr. Richard 
Weidman, Executive Director, Government Relations, Vietnam 
Veterans of America.
    On September 20, 2001, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
held a hearing to receive information on the matter of 
homelessness among veterans, and received testimony on this 
measure, H.R. 2716, the Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 
2001, introduced by Mr. Smith, Chairman of the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs, and other Members on August 2, 2001, and 
another measure, H.R. 936, the Heather French Henry Homeless 
Veterans Assistance Act of 2001, introduced by the Committee's 
Ranking Member, Mr. Evans, and other Members, on March 8, 2001. 
Those testifying at the hearing included: Dr. Frances M. 
Murphy, Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Department of 
Veterans Affairs; Mr. Peter H. Dougherty, Director, Homeless 
Veterans Programs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental 
Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs; the Honorable Roy A. 
Bernardi, Assistant Secretary for Community Planning & 
Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Mr. 
John B. Garrity, Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance, 
Department of Housing and Urban Development; Mrs. Heather 
French Henry, Miss America 2000; Mr. John Kuhn, Chief, VA New 
Jersey Homeless Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
accompanied by Ms. Angela Gipson, Mr. Stuart Collick, and Mr. 
Walter McConnell; Mr. Carl Blake, Associate Legislative 
Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Mr. Brian E. Lawrence, 
Associate National Legislative Director, Disabled American 
Veterans; Ms. Jacqueline Garrick, Deputy Director, Health Care, 
National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission, The 
American Legion; Ms. Linda Boone, Executive Director, National 
Coalition for Homeless Veterans; Mr. Theodore R. Jones, Chief 
Steward, Local 1647, American Federation of Government 
Employees, AFL-CIO; Mr. Len Selfon, Director, Veterans 
Benefits, Vietnam Veterans of America; and Mr. Richard 
Schneider, Director, Veterans and State Affairs, Non 
Commissioned Officers Association.
    On October 4, 2001, the Subcommittee on Health met and 
unanimously ordered H.R. 2716 reported favorably to the full 
Committee with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
    On October 10, 2001, the full Committee met and ordered 
H.R. 2716 reported favorably to the House with an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute by unanimous voice vote.

                      Summary of the Reported Bill

    H.R. 2716, as amended, would:

    1.  LProvide that this bill may be cited as the ``Stuart 
Collick--Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance 
Act''.

    2.  LEstablish a national goal to end chronic homelessness 
among veterans within a decade and encourage all governmental 
and private agencies to work together to achieve this goal.

    3.  LProvide a ``Sense of the Congress'' regarding the 
needs of homeless veterans and the responsibility of federal 
agencies in meeting those needs.

    4.  LConsolidate and improve laws relating to homeless 
veterans into a new chapter of title 38, United States Code. 
Include provisions to increase per diem payments for the care 
of homeless veterans by community providers to the rates paid 
to state home domiciliaries, authorize appropriations for the 
Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, coordinate outreach 
services among agencies dealing with homeless individuals, and 
undertake an outreach demonstration program within VA. Other 
provisions would authorize establishment of a grant program for 
homeless veterans with special needs, limited dental care for 
veterans using VA homeless programs, technical assistance to 
nonprofit community based groups, and to establish an Advisory 
Committee on Homeless Veterans.

    5.  LEstablish evaluation centers for programs that serve 
homeless populations and require annual program assessments to 
be submitted to Congress.

    6.  LRequire a study of outcome effectiveness of grant 
program for homeless veterans with special needs.

    7.  LRequire VA to develop a standard for access to mental 
health services; expand the comprehensive homeless services 
program; and expand opioid substitution therapy to every VA 
medical center.

    8.  LRequire Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program 
specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives to 
coordinate employment services with entities receiving 
financial assistance under homeless veterans' reintegration 
programs.

    9.  LEstablish priorities for homeless programs when VA 
considers disposing of real property or entering into enhanced-
use lease arrangements.

    10. LRequire an annual meeting of the Interagency Council 
on Homeless.

    11. LSet aside rental assistance vouchers for HUD VA-
Supported Housing Program.

                       Background and Discussion

    The Committee's objective is to end chronic homelessness 
among the veteran population within a decade of enactment of 
this bill through establishment of a statutory national goal in 
this regard and the necessary means to effect its achievement. 
The Committee believes that this goal can best be achieved 
through educational initiatives, innovative approaches at 
prevention, expansion of current programs, applications of 
greater accountability for federally-funded programs, and 
improved cooperation and coordination among federal agencies 
with similar missions to stem and end homelessness.

      Subchapter I - Purpose; Definitions; Administrative Matters

    Staffing requirements.--Current law regarding staffing 
requirements at VBA Regional Offices requires VA's 
comprehensive homeless centers to include the services of 
Veterans Benefits Administration employees, as the Secretary 
deems appropriate. Directors of each regional benefits office 
are also required to assess needs of homeless veterans living 
within the areas served by the regional offices.
    With a current VA backlog of over one-half million benefits 
claims, the Committee is concerned that homeless veterans have 
immediate needs for benefits and VA services that cannot be 
reasonably addressed within the timeframe in which claims are 
normally adjudicated. Section 2003(a) of a new chapter 20, 
title 38, United States Code, would require VA to designate at 
least one full-time Veterans Benefits Administration employee 
in each Regional Office with more than 140 employees to oversee 
and coordinate homeless veterans programs including assuring 
identification and expedited treatment of claims for benefits 
filed by homeless veterans, the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development housing program for veterans, VA housing programs, 
the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, VA's 
Comprehensive Homeless Service Centers, and coordination of 
needs assessments through the ``CHALENG'' process.

    Employment Assistance.--It is not clear under current law 
that participants in VA's vocational rehabilitation programs 
may be placed in compensated work therapy (CWT) programs. As 
amended, the bill would authorize participants in vocational 
rehabilitation programs to participate in VA's compensated work 
therapy programs, as well as other appropriate assistance, to 
aid their return to the employment market.

             Subchapter II - Comprehensive Service Programs

    In addition to providing medical and social services 
directly, VA is authorized by Public Law 102-590 to make grants 
to nonprofit entities to assist them in providing such 
services. To date, VA has awarded over $50 million in grants to 
assist public and nonprofit agencies in constructing, acquiring 
and/or renovating facilities to create supportive housing or 
service centers for homeless veterans. A companion per diem 
program assists non-VA organizations to defray the operational 
costs of homeless residential and rehabilitation services. By 
the end of fiscal year 2000, VA had provided services to over 
10,000 veterans under the per diem component of this program.
    From 1994 to 2000, 243 grants were awarded in 44 states and 
the District of Columbia. When these projects are completed, 
approximately 5,000 new community-based beds will be available 
for homeless veterans. It is estimated that approximately 1,250 
beds will be available for spouses and children of homeless 
veterans or other homeless persons. At the end of fiscal year 
2000, 71 programs had been activated and are operating more 
than 2,076 beds. Additionally, 17 independent homeless veterans 
service centers will be established. It is estimated that 
approximately 14,000 homeless veterans will receive services 
from programs funded by VA's grant and per diem program.
    In order to effectively carry out the programs offered in 
this subchapter, the appropriations authorized would expand the 
authority to make grants to eligible entities to furnish 
existing programs, assist entities in applying for these 
grants, and provide entities per diem payments at the same rate 
authorized for State home domiciliary care programs. In 
addition, VA would no longer require providers to calculate the 
value of its in-kind assistance in establishing its rates. 
Grants would also be available to assist eligible entities in 
meeting the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection 
Association. The Committee's view is that expanding the levels 
of support to these vital programs would bring more specialized 
service and care to the homeless veterans. The level of funding 
authorized would be: fiscal year 2002, $60,000,000; fiscal year 
2003, $75,000,000; fiscal year 2004, $75,000,000; and fiscal 
year 2005, $75,000,000.

                 Subchapter III - Training and Outreach

    Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program.--Current law 
authorizes the Secretary of Labor to conduct such programs as 
the Secretary determines appropriate to provide job training, 
counseling, and placement services to homeless (or formerly 
homeless) veterans. The average cost of placing homeless 
veterans in employment through this program is approximately 
$1,250 per veteran. It is likely one of the more cost-efficient 
programs in the federal government. In order to maximize the 
benefits provided by this program, the revised measure would 
authorize an appropriation of $50 million for each of fiscal 
years 2002 through 2005.

    Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
homelessness.--While there are currently many veterans being 
served by programs operated or funded by the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, many additional agencies inside and outside 
federal government also serve veterans. There is no current 
mechanism by which such services are coordinated for veterans.
    This measure would require VA to develop a plan to identify 
and collaborate with appropriate external agencies to make 
mentoring and support programs, family support, case 
management, and employment services optimally available to 
veterans. The plan is also required to address the need for 
appropriate referral resources for mental health and substance 
abuse services.
    The Committee strongly believes that VA must establish 
community partnerships to achieve the goals of the plan. This 
measure would require VA to enter into formal relationships 
with outside providers to ensure that all agencies agree on 
clear objectives to better meet the needs of the homeless 
veterans and to identify and respond to veterans who may be at 
risk of homelessness.
    The provision would also require VA to develop a program of 
outreach with appropriate external agencies, such as state 
social service departments, long-term psychiatric facilities, 
substance abuse treatment facilities, jails and prisons, and 
the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The program would require VA to 
share information about veterans' benefits and to make local 
contact information available to appropriate agencies. The 
Committee expects VA to develop these programs in consultation 
with appropriate outside agencies.

    Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling 
for veterans transitioning from certain institutions who are at 
risk for homelessness.--New section 2023 of title 38, United 
States Code, would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
in conjunction with the Secretary of Labor, to carry out a 
demonstration program to provide referral and counseling 
services to eligible veterans prior to release or discharge 
from a penal institution or long-term mental health 
institution. The program would be conducted at six locations, 
including at least one penal institution under the jurisdiction 
of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
    VA has identified common characteristics as both 
contributing factors to unlawful behavior and potential entry 
points for treatment intervention. The Department of Justice 
estimated that there were 234,000 incarcerated veterans in 
1999. A report produced by Christopher J. Mumola, Policy 
Analyst for the Bureau of Justice, (Mumola, 2001), yielded the 
following profile:

     \More than 35 percent of veterans on probation 
served during the Vietnam era, with 24 percent having seen 
combat.

     \ More than 90 percent of veterans on probation 
had received honorable discharges.

     \ More than 97 percent were male, and almost 
three-quarters were Caucasian and high school graduates.

     \ The median age of veterans on probation was 39 
years, with 70 percent 35 or older.

     \ Veterans were 50 percent more likely to be 
guilty of a violent offense, especially sexual assault, while 
at least as likely to be guilty of property offense.

     \ Veterans reported much higher rates of alcohol 
abuse, DWI offenses and being under the influence of alcohol at 
the time of their offenses than non-veteran counterparts.

     \ Probationary veterans were more likely to 
display indicators of mental illness.

    Another report from the Bureau of Justice from 1998 
(Ditton, 1998) found that, based on self-reporting, mental 
health problems are not uncommon among prisoners.
    Mentally ill prisoners were twice as likely to have been 
homeless during the twelve months prior to their arrest, and 
incarcerated veterans constitute a large population with 
significant psychosocial needs. The most recent Department of 
Justice statistics (Mumola, 2000) indicate that 13 percent of 
inmates in state correctional facilities are veterans, with 
approximately 20 percent of these veterans having served in 
combat. Although some of these veterans may find their way to 
services offered by the Veterans Health Administration, often 
this is only after a psychiatric decompensation, a 
deterioration of a medical condition, or a return to criminal 
or other self-destructive behavior such as substance use.
    Recognizing the need for earlier intervention, the 
Committee's intent is that outreach information be provided to 
incarcerated veterans during the 18-month period that precedes 
date of release. As the discharge date moves nearer for each 
inmate, referral and counseling would be provided in person to 
ensure each veteran in the demonstration project has available 
appropriate information before discharge into the community.
    Before entering an institution such as a prison, jail, or 
facility for the severely mentally ill, a veteran's 
circumstance may have left him without family support or 
resources. Because of incarceration, a family may have lost 
means of financial stability. Release from jail or a mental 
hospital might find the veteran without an alternative to 
returning to the street, essentially with nowhere to go and no 
one to provide personal support. While the individual may have 
attained freedom from incarceration or institutionalization, 
without employment, the veteran could easily revert to 
behaviors that led to the earlier confinement, including 
illegal substance abuse.

                   Subchapter IV - Housing Assistance

    Supported housing for veterans participating in compensated 
work therapy programs administered by the VA.--The Committee 
believes VA should provide maximum flexibility in housing 
options for veterans participating in compensated work therapy 
programs administered by the VA. This measure would authorize 
VA to provide placements not only in therapeutic residence 
programs, but also to VA's grant and per diem providers in the 
community.

    Domiciliary care programs.--The domiciliary care program 
has been functioning within VA since before the beginning of 
this century; it originally provided long-term care to disabled 
veterans. Since its inception, many changes have taken place to 
provide the program with a more clinical focus. The VA 
Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) program began in 
1987 with the enactment of Public Law 100-71, and is distinct 
in most VA medical centers from existing domiciliary care 
programs. A VA domiciliary for homeless veterans provides 
residential rehabilitation and health maintenance for veterans 
who do not require hospital or nursing home care, but are 
unable to live independently because of medical or psychiatric 
disabilities. Veterans must be homeless or in living situations 
that compromise their ability to maintain residential stability 
(i.e., living in a car, a shelter, etc.). Eligible ambulatory 
veterans receive necessary medical and psychiatric care, 
rehabilitative assistance, and other therapeutic interventions 
on an outpatient basis from the host medical center, while 
residing in the structured, therapeutic, homelike environment 
of the domiciliary. The goal of the program is to return the 
veteran to independent functioning in the community. At present 
there are 35 VA domiciliaries for homeless veterans in the VA 
health care system.
    Some of the specialized therapeutic programs offered 
include: restoration, substance-use treatment and education, 
post-psychiatric care adjustment, geriatric care, behavior 
modification, health promotion, TIGER (training in group 
effectiveness and resourcefulness) or human relations training, 
and post-discharge community support and aftercare. Patients 
may be assigned incentive therapy wherein they will receive 
nominal remuneration for therapeutic work assignments 
throughout the medical center or domiciliary. Patients also may 
participate in training and/or ``work-out/live-in'' programs.
    Section 2043 would give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
the authority to establish up to 10 new domiciliary care 
programs. This authority would relieve VA of the burden of 
finding private therapeutic programs for veterans ready to 
change their current situations. The Committee has received 
testimony that veterans with mental illness, substance-use 
disorder, or homelessness have been turned away from VA 
facilities due to lack of space. This program has been very 
effective, with nearly 50,000 homeless veterans utilizing the 
services since inception.
    The funding authorized $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2003 and 2004, would establish the additional programs in areas 
the Secretary deems appropriate.

                    Subchapter VI - Other Provisions

    Grant Program for Homeless Veterans with Special Needs.--
The Committee's view is that many programs have demonstrated 
effectiveness in meeting the needs of homeless veterans who are 
capable of regaining sobriety, stability and reintegrating into 
work environments. Homeless veterans who, due to severe mental 
or physical illness or infirmity, may still benefit from 
programs to reduce the symptoms of their illnesses or promote 
their independence and productivity, but may not be as well 
served by these ``mainstream'' programs. In addition, some 
veterans--particularly women veterans--are often restricted 
from programs by virtue of having dependent children who cannot 
be served by these programs, or by other constraints.
    The Committee believes also that some of these populations 
may not benefit from the work-oriented therapy that has proven 
effective for many homeless veterans. For such veterans, 
programs with different goals and orientations may be 
appropriate. For example, for veterans with terminal illness or 
extreme frailty, provision of a comfortable living environment 
and palliative care may be appropriate. Veterans with severe 
and chronic mental illnesses that preclude a successful outcome 
from vocational rehabilitation may be assisted by programs that 
help them stabilize and find productive activity. Family-
centered programs may be most effective for veterans with 
dependent minors.
    The Committee is committed to stimulating program 
innovations through a competitive grant project that would fund 
the best proposals from VA or community-based organizations 
providing care on a per diem basis. The total amounts 
authorized for such grants would be $10 million in each of 
fiscal years 2003, 2004 and 2005. Section 7 of this bill 
requires a study of the effectiveness of programs developed 
under these special grants to meet the specific needs of 
targeted populations. It also assures that these funds will 
remain available for the grantees for three fiscal years after 
implementation.

    Dental Care.--The Committee observes that annual reports 
required under section 2034 (as redesignated), known as the 
Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and 
Networking Groups (or CHALENG) for Veterans, have noted the 
non-availability of dental care services for homeless veterans 
as a major deficiency. This deficiency was reported by both VA 
staff and community providers. Homeless veterans and their 
advocates have also testified to both the medical necessity of 
a dental benefit and the impediment severe dental pathology can 
be to regaining employment.
    Under current law, VA provides ``medically necessary'' 
dental care to veterans receiving inpatient hospital care. VA 
does not currently have the authority to extend the benefit to 
other health care settings in which homeless veterans often 
obtain care, such as domiciliary programs, therapeutic 
residences, community residential care centers, or community-
based organizations under VA's homeless grant and per diem 
program.
    The Committee believes Congress should extend a dental 
benefit to veterans receiving care in these settings under 
certain conditions--to alleviate pain, to help with employment 
prospects, or for periodontal or gingival conditions. This 
benefit for homeless veterans would be structured similar to 
the dental care offered to recently discharged veterans, and 
would not be a continuing VA benefit.

    Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based 
groups.--VA currently spends about $32 million annually on its 
homeless grant and per diem program. The Committee expects this 
commitment to substantially expand, consistent with the level 
of appropriations authorized for each of the next four fiscal 
years. Homeless grant and per diem applicants are usually 
untrained in developing grant proposals. They are also often 
compelled to seek grants from a variety of sources in order to 
assure the ongoing integrity of their programs for veterans. An 
expert adviser would better ensure the quality of proposals 
submitted to VA and other agencies for approval. It would also 
provide an established clearinghouse of information to identify 
additional funding sources. The Committee expects that this 
small investment would significantly improve the grant program 
for VA and many community-based organizations.

    Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.--The Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs has announced his intention to establish an 
Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans. While the Committee 
applauds this decision and is assured that this Administration 
will carry out that intention, it is less clear what a future 
Administration may intend for this Advisory Committee. The 
language in this measure would authorize the Secretary to 
establish an Advisory Committee in much the same manner he has 
proposed, but would require that it remain in place for at 
least the next five years. The Committee believes a statutory 
Advisory Committee connotes a priority to homeless veterans. 
Also, an Advisory Committee provides VA an active advisory body 
that can explore a wide range of cross-cutting issues under its 
purview with other agencies of government and other 
institutions committed to ending homelessness.

    Evaluation of Homeless Programs.--VA currently operates an 
evaluation center (the Northeast Program Evaluation Center) 
that is responsible for reviewing a wide range of programs 
within VA that address mental illness, substance abuse, and 
homelessness. This Center regularly develops reports for VA's 
internal use that are available to the Congress. The Committee 
does not wish to change the function or mission of this 
research body, but does seek to ensure VA's ongoing commitment 
to its maintenance.

                   Additional Programmatic Expansions

    Access to Mental Health Services.--A recent report states 
that only about 40 percent of more than 230 responding 
community based outpatient clinics that VA operates or sponsors 
offer any form of mental health treatment capability to 
enrolled veterans. Given the preponderance of mental illness in 
the veteran population using VA medical care, this ratio 
appears to be much too low to meet enrolled veterans' needs. 
The Committee believes that VA should ensure that it 
standardizes access to mental health treatment within community 
based outpatient clinics. From the Committee's perspective, 
this would mean that larger community based outpatient clinics 
need to have a regular and ongoing source of specialized mental 
health treatment available to the clinic's patients, while 
smaller clinics would be able to provide such treatment through 
telecommunications, clinics with mental health care 
professionals with shared duty assignments at other VA medical 
facilities, or through referrals to mental health care services 
in their communities. To this end, the Committee's bill 
requires VA to promulgate a national policy standard to address 
the provision of mental health care services in all locations 
at which such services are needed.

    Comprehensive Homeless Services Programs.--Public Law 105-
114 established eight comprehensive homeless centers. These 
centers provide convenient means for homeless veterans to 
address a variety of their needs. Some comprehensive centers 
offer meals, a place to shower or wash clothing, assistance 
with claims for VA benefits or job placement, and referrals to 
outside shelters or residence placements. The additional 
programs authorized by this provision could differ in their 
size and range of services, but they would all bring together a 
number of elements that would become easy for homeless veterans 
to use. The Committee believes the number of these centers 
should be expanded to the 20 largest metropolitan areas without 
them.

    Opioid Substitution Therapy.--Currently VA offers opioid 
substitution therapy (also referred to as ``methadone 
maintenance'') in 38 VA medical centers, according to testimony 
received at the Committee's hearing on September 20, 2001. 
However, VA indicates that the VA health care system may 
require additional service sites to meet their patients' needs 
for substance abuse services. Opioid substitution therapy has 
proven effective in helping veterans addicted to heroin and 
other illegal drugs address these addictions, lower the risk of 
adverse health outcomes, including hepatitis and auto-immune 
disorders from dirty needles, and eventually help them become 
independent from drug addiction. The Committee believes that 
opioid substitution therapy should be available to veterans at 
every VA medical center.

    Coordination of Employment Services.--This provision 
requires Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists 
and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVER) to 
coordinate services with entities that receive funding through 
the Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration 
Program (HVRP). The DVOP and LVER representatives can be active 
participants in their community-based HVRP programs, but not 
every local program benefits from such participation. This 
provision would ensure that federal, state and local efforts to 
place veterans in meaningful employment would be coordinated.

    Use of Real Property Limitation on Declaring Property 
Excess to the Needs of the Department.--VA is authorized to 
dispose of excess property through the same process for 
disposing of federal property used by the General Services 
Administration. While homeless providers have a high priority 
in competing for excess federal property, there is not a 
requirement for VA to address the needs of homeless veterans 
prior to making such a determination.
    The Committee believes that VA should make a determination 
that unneeded federal property is not required to serve 
homeless veterans before disposing of the property. Section 10 
of the bill would require VA to determine that it should not 
develop additional services, either itself or by offering the 
property to a provider that would develop it to serve homeless 
veterans under an enhanced use lease before it could dispose of 
its property. This provision would also waive the competitive 
process for assessing bids for enhanced use leases when 
homeless providers apply for these leases. This will give 
homeless providers priority over other parties interested in 
obtaining enhanced-use leases.

    Meetings of Interagency Council on Homeless.--The 
Interagency Council on Homeless was established under the 
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Its initial efforts 
produced some innovative programs, such as the HUD-VA Supported 
Housing program, that allowed the agencies within federal 
government to work together on common problems. The Council has 
been defunct for several years, although HUD Secretary Martinez 
announced this year his intention to staff and reinvigorate the 
Council. The Committee believes this Council should be 
reconstituted and required to meet at least annually. This 
measure would require the Council to meet annually.

    HUD-VASH Voucher Program.--The so-called ``section 8'' 
housing voucher program administered by the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development under the United States Housing 
Act of 1937, as amended, is intended to assist families and 
individuals in obtaining rental housing. This program is the 
federal government's major program for assisting very low-
income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford 
decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since 
housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or 
individual, participants are able to find their own housing, 
including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The 
participant is free to choose any housing that meets the 
requirements of the program and is not limited to units located 
in subsidized housing projects.
    In 1989, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
decided to encourage formerly homeless veterans to utilize the 
housing voucher program by setting aside a limited number of 
vouchers to be administered through VA officials who supervised 
the reintegration of these veterans into non-VA living options. 
The 1,700 vouchers made available under the Secretary's 
initiative have been fully utilized by formerly homeless 
veterans, and only a small number of these vouchers become 
available each year to veterans who are now ready to resume 
living in the community. Therefore, section 12 of the reported 
bill would authorize the set-aside of an additional 500 
vouchers each year for four years to veterans who were formerly 
treated in VA homeless programs and who agree to continue to 
have VA monitor their needs for VA health care. It would also 
require the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase the 
number of VA employees assigned to case manager functions to 
assure that each veteran obtaining a housing subsidy voucher is 
being seen by a case manager. The Committee is informed that 
there is a memorandum of understanding between the Secretaries 
of the two Departments with regard to the use of the existing 
vouchers, and this expansion could be accomplished through a 
modification to that memorandum. The Committee expects the 
Secretaries to promptly modify this agreement to carry out the 
intent of this legislation.

                      Section-By-Section Analysis

    Section 1(a) states the title of this Act to be the 
``Stuart Collick--Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act.''

    Section 1(b) of the bill sets forth the table of contents.

    Section 2(1) defines the term ``homeless veteran'' for 
purposes of the Act. A ``homeless veteran'' is defined as a 
veteran who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime 
residence, or who has a primary nighttime residence that is: a 
supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to 
provide temporary living accommodations; an institution that 
provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be 
institutionalized; or, a public or private place not designed 
for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation 
for human beings.

    Section 2(2) defines ``grant and per diem provider'' as a 
recipient of a VA grant under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and 
Per Diem Program.

    Section 3(a) declares a national goal of ending 
homelessness among veterans within a decade.

    Section 3(b) encourages all governmental components, quasi-
governmental organizations, agencies, and private and public 
sector entities, including community-based and faith-based 
organizations to work cooperatively in reaching the goal of 
ending chronic homelessness.

    Section 4 presents findings of the Congress regarding the 
magnitude and scope of homelessness among veterans, the 
inadequacy of current programs to provide them needed services, 
the need for federally funded programs to be accountable for 
achieving results, the need to identify and expand effective 
programs, the need for greater cooperation between VA and HUD, 
and the need for federal efforts to prevent homelessness.

    Section 5 would add new chapter 20 to title 38, United 
States Code, to establish a chapter dedicated exclusively to 
benefits for homeless veterans. The new chapter would include 
seven subchapters with a total of twenty-seven sections as 
follows.

    Section 2001 states that the purpose of the chapter is to 
provide for the special needs of homeless veterans.

    Section 2002(1) defines the term ``homeless veteran'' for 
purposes of the chapter.

    Section 2002(2) defines ``grant and per diem provider'' for 
purposes of the chapter as a recipient of a VA grant under VA's 
Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.

    Section 2003(a) requires the Secretary to ensure that each 
Regional Office assign at least one employee to oversee and 
coordinate homeless veterans programs in that region, including 
(1) housing programs for veterans supported by the Department 
of Housing and Urban Development;(2) by VA; (3) by the 
Department of Labor (through the Homeless Veterans' 
Reintegration Program authorized by 38 U.S.C. 2021); (4) the 
programs under 38 U.S.C. 2033; (5) the needs assessments 
required by 38 U.S.C. 2034; and, (6) such other duties relating 
to homeless veterans as may be assigned. The provision would 
also require that any Regional Office with at least 140 
employees have at least one full-time employee assigned to the 
above-stated functions.

    Section 2003(b) requires that VA ensure that there are a 
sufficient number of case managers in the Veterans Health 
Administration to assure that a veteran who receives a housing 
voucher under the HUD section 8 Program is assigned to, and is 
able to be seen, as needed, by a case manager.

    Section 2004 clarifies existing authority that homeless 
veterans receiving benefits under VA's vocational 
rehabilitation programs may, if needed as part of their medical 
care, participate in VA's Compensated Work Therapy program.

    Section 2011 codifies the currently existing authority for 
VA's Homeless Providers Grant Program under Public Law 102-590. 
The codification differs from the previous law in two ways. The 
codified version changes the law to eliminate the existing cap 
on the number of service centers that may be funded under the 
grant program. It also amends the law to require that one of 
the criteria that an entity seeking a grant must meet to 
receive a grant is that any facility acquired, constructed or 
operated with grant funds must meet fire and safety 
requirements applicable under the Life Safety Code of the 
National Fire Protection Association.

    Section 2012 codifies the currently existing authority for 
VA's Homeless Providers Per Diem Program under Public Law 102-
590. The codification differs from the previous law in five 
ways. First, it requires the Secretary to pay per diem payments 
under the Program at the same per diem rates applicable for 
domiciliary care furnished veterans in States Homes. Second, it 
deletes a provision that is currently in Public Law 102-590 
that allows the Secretary to provide in-kind assistance in lieu 
of per diem payments. Third, it establishes a new requirement 
that per diem pay not be paid to a grant recipient unless the 
recipient's facilities meet the fire and safety requirements 
applicable under the Life Safety Code of the National Fire 
Protection Association, but that requirement would not apply 
for five years for grant recipients if their facilities meet 
requirements established by the Secretary. Fourth, it deletes a 
provision in current law that limits the VA per diem payment to 
one-half of the recipient's cost of providing services to the 
veteran. Fifth, it provides that the United States shall be 
entitled to recover all unused funds made as a grant from 
recipients who fail to establish a program or cease to furnish 
services under a grant funded program. Any amount recovered 
could be obligated for the program without fiscal year 
limitation and no unused grant amount could be recovered before 
the end of the three-year period beginning on the date of the 
grant award.
    Section 2013 authorizes appropriations in the amount of $60 
million for fiscal year 2002 and $75 million for each of fiscal 
year 2003 through fiscal year 2005 for the Grant and Per Diem 
Program.

    Section 2021 authorizes the Homeless Veterans' 
Reintegration Program (HVRP), currently authorized in 38 U.S.C. 
4111 (section 4111 is repealed by section 5(e)(3)). Section 
2021 would also authorize appropriations for the program of $50 
million for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2006.

    Section 2022 requires that the Secretary, acting through 
the Under Secretary for Health, have appropriate officials of 
VHA's Mental Health Service and Readjustment Counseling Service 
initiate a coordinated plan for joint outreach on behalf of 
veterans at risk of homelessness, expressly including those who 
are being discharged from institutions such as inpatient 
psychiatric care units, substance abuse treatment programs, and 
penal institutions. The section sets out a detailed list of 
items and factors that need to be included or provided for in 
the plan.

    Section 2023 requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and 
the Secretary of Labor to carry out a demonstration project to 
determine the costs and benefits of providing referral and 
counseling services to certain veterans regarding the benefits 
and services available to them through VA and the State. The 
demonstration project would be conducted at a minimum of six 
locations, including one penal institution under the 
jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons. Veterans eligible for 
these services would include those whose release or discharge 
from a penal institution or long-term mental health institution 
is ``imminent,'' i.e., the 60-day period that ends on the date 
of such release or discharge, who are at risk for homelessness 
absent receipt of such referral and counseling services. 
Counseling services could be provided directly or by contract 
and would include counseling related to job training and 
placement, housing, healthcare and such other benefits to 
assist in transition from institutional living.

    Section 2042 clarifies existing law by explicitly providing 
that the Secretary has authority to allow homeless veterans in 
VHA's Compensated Work Therapy program to receive housing 
through the therapeutic residence program under 38 U.S.C. 1772, 
or through grantees of VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per 
Diem Program.

    Section 2043 clarifies the Secretary's existing authority 
to establish domiciliary programs under VA's Domiciliary Care 
for Homeless Veterans Program (DCHV) and provide that the 
Secretary may establish up to ten additional domiciliaries 
under that program. It would also authorize appropriations of 
$5 million for each of fiscal years 2003 and 2004 for purposes 
of establishing any such additional programs.

    Section 2061 requires the Secretary to carry out a grant 
program for VA health care facilities and grantees of VA's 
Homeless Grant and Per Diem Payment Program to encourage the 
development of programs targeted at meeting special needs of 
homeless veterans, including those who are women, who are age 
50 or older, who are substance abusers, who suffer from PTSD, a 
terminal illness, or a chronic mental illness; or who have care 
of minor dependents or other family members. Section 2061 would 
further require that $10 million be made available for each of 
fiscal years 2003, 2004, and 2005.

    Section 2062 extends eligibility for outpatient dental 
services, treatment, and appliances to certain veterans when 
such services, treatment, and appliances are needed to 
successfully gain or regain employment, to alleviate pain, or 
to treat moderate, severe, or severe and complicated gingival 
and periodontal pathology. Under section 2062, such eligibility 
would be extended to veterans enrolled for care under 38 U.S.C. 
1705 who are receiving care (directly or by contract) in: (1) a 
domiciliary pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1710; (2) a therapeutic 
residence pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1772; (3) community residential 
care coordinated by the Secretary under 38 U.S.C. 1730; (4) a 
setting for which the Secretary provides funds for a grantee of 
VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. Dental 
benefits under the section would be limited to a one-time 
course of care provided in the same manner as VA provides 
dental benefits to a newly discharged veteran.

    Section 2063 requires the Secretary to conduct a technical 
assistance grant program to assist non-profit groups, which are 
experienced in providing services to homeless veterans, to 
apply for grants related to addressing problems of homeless 
veterans. To carry out such program, section 2063 authorizes 
$750,000 to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2002 
through 2005.

    Section 2064 requires the Secretary to submit a detailed 
report to Congress on VA's programs for homeless veterans by 
April 15th each year.

    Section 2065 establishes an Advisory Committee on Homeless 
Veterans within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Section 5(b) through 5(e) and section 5(g) transfers 
existing provisions related to VA healthcare and housing 
assistance for homeless veterans, respectively, to new Chapter 
20 and give them new section numbers, repeal other provisions 
that are recodified in the new chapter and make a number of 
necessary technical, conforming and clerical amendments 
necessary to the recodification.

    Section 5(f) extends through December 31, 2006, VA's 
general authority under section 2031 as redesignated by section 
5(b)(1) of the bill (currently section 1771) and its authority 
under section 2033 as so redesignated (currently section 1773) 
to operate comprehensive service centers.

    Section 6 requires the Secretary to support the 
continuation of at least one Department center for evaluation 
to monitor the structure, process, and outcome of VA's programs 
for homeless veterans. It also requires VA's CHALENG assessment 
program to be carried out on an annual basis and requires the 
Secretary to review each annual report submitted under the 
CHALENG program and to submit to Congress an annual report that 
consolidates the findings and conclusions of the CHALENG 
report.

    Section 7 requires the Secretary to conduct a study of the 
effectiveness the new grant program established for VA health 
care facilities and grantees of VA's Homeless Grant and Per 
Diem Payment Program to encourage the development of programs 
targeted at meeting special needs of homeless veterans, 
including those who are women, who are age 50 or older, who are 
substance abusers, who suffer from PTSD, a terminal illness, or 
a chronic mental illness; or who have care of minor dependents 
or other family members. The study must compare the results of 
programs carried out under the new grant program with results 
for similar veterans in programs run by the Department or run 
by providers who participate in VA's grant and per diem 
program. Section 7 requires a report by March 31, 2005.

    Section 8 (a) requires the Secretary to develop standards 
to ensure that mental health services are available to veterans 
in a manner similar to that in which primary care is made 
available to veterans by requiring every VA primary care health 
care facility to have mental health treatment capacity.

    Section 8(b) requires the Secretary to establish 
comprehensive homeless service centers in at least each of the 
20 largest metropolitan statistical areas for the provision of 
comprehensive services to homeless veterans. Currently, the 
Secretary is required to have eight such centers.

    Section 8(c) requires the Secretary to ensure that opioid 
substitution therapy is available at each VA medical center.

    Section 9 requires disabled veterans' outreach program 
specialists and local veterans' employment representatives to 
also coordinate training assistance benefits provided to 
veterans.

    Section 10(a) requires the Secretary, before disposing of 
real property as excess, to determine that the property is not 
suitable for use for the provision of services to homeless 
veterans by the Department or by another entity under an 
enhanced-use lease.

    Section 10(b) modifies VA's current enhanced-use leasing 
authority with respect to how it selects a lessee in enhanced-
use leases. It exempts from the normal selection process and 
procedures property that the Secretary determines is 
appropriate for use as a facility to furnish services to 
homeless veterans.

    Section 11 amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance 
Act to require that the Interagency Council on Homeless (ICH) 
meet at the call of its Chairperson or a majority of its 
members and that the ICH meet at least annually.

    Section 12 amends section 8 of the Housing Act to require 
HUD to set aside section 8 housing vouchers for homeless 
veterans. This effectively codifies the existing HUD-VA 
Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which the two Departments 
have operated since 1992. Section 4 requires HUD to reserve 500 
rental assistance vouchers in fiscal year 2003, 1,000 vouchers 
in fiscal year 2004, 1,500 vouchers in fiscal year 2005, and 
2,000 vouchers in fiscal year 2006, for homeless veterans who 
have chronic mental illnesses or chronic substance use 
disorders. VA would be required to provide appropriate case 
management for each veteran in the HUD-VASH Program.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The reported bill consolidates and improves laws relating 
to programs of government aimed at resolving chronic 
homelessness in the veteran population. It would require VA to 
establish at least one evaluation center for VA programs that 
serve homeless veterans and would require VA to submit an 
annual program assessment to Congress; it would require VA to 
study outcomes effectiveness of grant programs for homeless 
veterans with special needs; and it would require VA to develop 
a national standard for access to mental health services. The 
program evaluation center, program assessments, studies and 
standards would be subject to the Committee's regular 
oversight.

              STATEMENT OF THE VIEWS OF THE ADMINISTRATION

 Statement of Frances M. Murphy, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Under Secretary 
  for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, before the Committee on 
 Veterans' Affairs, United States House of Representatives, September 
                                20, 2001

    Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
    I am pleased to be here this afternoon to comment on H.R. 2716, the 
``Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 2001.'' If enacted, this bill 
would consolidate into a single chapter the Secretary's authority to 
provide health care, housing, employment training, and other benefits 
and services to homeless veterans. This legislation would also enhance 
existing VA programs for homeless veterans as well as programs for 
homeless veterans that are administered by other departments in concert 
with VA. It would further provide for new joint Federal initiatives 
targeted at preventing homelessness among the most vulnerable veterans.
    On the whole, VA supports H.R. 2716. However, with respect to some 
provisions, we recommend modifications consistent with the goals of the 
legislation or else seek further clarification of the proposals from 
Committee staff.
    Today, I would like to briefly go over the main provisions of the 
bill and provide VA's views on these provisions.

Section 3

    The bill would add new chapter 20 to title 38 to establish a 
chapter dedicated exclusively to benefits for homeless veterans. New 
sections 2011 and 2012 would codify the Department's existing Homeless 
Providers Grants and Per Diem Program (``Program'') currently 
authorized in Public Law 102-590 (1992) and amend the Program in 
several respects. The Program was established by statute in 1992 to 
assist in the establishment of new programs (or components thereof) by 
community-based providers of needed services, such as outreach, 
rehabilitative and vocational counseling and training services, and 
transitional housing assistance, to homeless veterans in specific 
communities. Under the Program, VA has been able to spur development of 
increased levels of assistance for homeless veterans living throughout 
the country at the local level. Indeed, grantees' programs often fill 
existing gaps in the continuum of VA care and services, thus serving as 
an effective complement to VA's own efforts. Thus, under this Program, 
VA has been successful at leveraging substantial amounts of new 
resources to increase the overall supply of transitional housing and 
other effective assistance for homeless veterans throughout the 
country.
    Section 3 would eliminate the existing cap on the number of service 
centers that may be funded under the Program. Service centers are 
defined under the Program as projects which provide, or assist in 
providing, certain supportive services (such as health care, hygiene 
facilities, benefits and employment counseling, meals, transportation 
assistance, and job training and job placement services) to homeless 
veterans for a minimum of 40 hours per week for a minimum of five days 
per week as well as on an as-needed, unscheduled basis. Second, section 
3 would mandate the recovery of all unused grant amounts from 
recipients who fail to establish a program or cease to furnish services 
under a grant-funded program. Third, the proposal would require the 
Secretary to pay per diem payments under the Program at the same per 
diem rates applicable for domiciliary care furnished veterans in State 
Veterans Homes.
    We support each of those proposed amendments, as they would 
significantly simplify and improve administration of VA's Grant and Per 
Diem Program. However, we suggest that the recovery provision be 
patterned more closely after the recapture provisions applicable to 
VA's State Home Grant Program. That provision allows for different 
recoveries depending on the time when the property funded by the grant 
ceases to be operated by a state or a state home principally for the 
purposes of furnishing care to veterans. We would suggest recovery 
levels under section 3 depend on when a grant recipient ceases to use 
the grant-funded property for the benefit of homeless veterans. It 
should also include language that would allow the United States to 
recapture used and unused grant funds from grantees where the grant 
funds have been used for purposes other than those stated in their 
grant agreements.
    We further suggest that the rate of per diem payments permitted 
under the Grants and Per Diem Program be 85 percent of the domiciliary 
care per diem rate paid to State Homes to equate more closely with 
grantees' actual costs of providing services. Services provided under 
the State Home Domiciliary Programs and the Grant and Per Diem Program 
vary significantly in scope and intensity, and most grant recipients do 
not have operating budgets that would justify payment at the per diem 
rate applicable to State Homes. However, we would also recommend that 
we be able to make per diem payments under the Program at less than the 
85 percent rate where payment at the 85 percent rate would in fact 
exceed the grantee's actual costs. This would give VA flexibility to 
ensure that per diem funded programs have sufficient resources, while 
ensuring that VA is not paying more than the grantees' actual costs.
    Of note, new section 2011 would continue to require that the real 
property of grant recipients (used in carrying out their grants) meet 
fire and safety requirements established by the Secretary and not those 
applicable to buildings of the Federal Government. We recommend that 
this provision be modified to require grantee recipients to meet fire 
and safety requirements established by the Life Safety Code, National 
Fire Protection Association Standard 101, or any successor standard. 
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards are widely 
accepted as the national standards for fire protection and safety. Such 
a modification should not impose undue financial burdens on grant 
recipients because VA, under the Program, can provide up to 65 percent 
of the cost of purchasing, constructing and/or renovating a building.
    Section 3 of the bill would also transfer to the new Chapter 20 
VA's existing authority to provide outreach services, care and 
services, and therapeutic transitional housing assistance in 
conjunction with work therapy for veterans suffering from serious 
mental illness, including veterans who are homeless, to the new chapter 
20, in addition to VA's authority to operate comprehensive service 
centers for homeless veterans. Similarly transferred would be existing 
provisions in title 38 related to housing assistance for homeless 
veterans and multifamily transitional housing assistance for formerly 
homeless veterans.
    This proposal would also transfer section 4111 of title 38, related 
to the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Projects Program (HVRP). Under 
the HVRP, the Secretary of Labor is required to conduct programs to 
expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force. 
Through the award of grants, grantees provide homeless veterans with a 
variety of supportive services, such as job training, job readiness 
skills, and job placement.

Section 4

    Section 4 would amend section 8 of the Housing Act to require HUD 
to set aside section 8 housing vouchers for homeless veterans. This 
effectively codifies the existing HUD-VA Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) 
Program, which the two Departments have operated informally since 1992. 
Specifically, section 4 would require HUD to reserve 500 rental 
assistance vouchers in fiscal year 2003 for homeless veterans who have 
chronic mental illnesses or chronic substance use disorders. Under the 
provision, the number of homeless veterans in the HUD-VASH Program 
would more than double by fiscal year 2006. We would be required to 
provide additional clinical case managers each year for veterans in the 
HUD-VASH Program.
    We fully support section 4. The HUD-VASH Program has been a 
resounding success. Today, there are approximately 1,750 housing 
vouchers being used by homeless veterans under the HUD-VASH Program, 
and these vouchers provide $8.85 million in rental assistance for 
homeless veterans annually.

Section 5

    Section 5 would add a new section 2035 to title 38 to require the 
Secretary to seek to enter into contracts with community agencies to 
provide representative payee services for homeless veterans who are not 
competent to manage their own personal funds. The proposal would 
require such representative payees to work in concert with VHA to 
ensure that all Government funds are used for appropriate purposes 
(e.g., nutrition and shelter) and also require the Secretary to submit 
a report in March 2003 on his efforts in this direction and on any 
cost-savings achieved as a result of such efforts.
    This section is problematic. To the extent this provision is 
intended to cover VA benefits of any type, it would seem to conflict 
with an existing and very detailed program for the disbursement of 
benefits to VA-appointed fiduciaries under 38 U.S.C. s. 5502 et seq. 
and 38 CFR part 13. Under part 13, VA provides for the appointment, 
supervision and regulation of fiduciaries for incompetent veterans. We 
have assumed that use of the term ``not competent'' in the section is 
intended to mean those whom VA would determine are not able to manage 
their own funds under VA's fiduciary program in part 13. If that is the 
case, we cannot support this provision. We recommend that the Committee 
clarify the meaning of the term ``not competent'' for purposes of this 
section.
    To the extent the provision would apply to a veteran's funds not 
derived from VA benefits, we assume the Committee intends that VA 
condition participation in VA's programs for homeless veterans on a 
veteran's acceptance of representative payee services.

Section 6

    Section 6 would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the 
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to jointly establish a 
methodology to monitor veterans who have been furnished any service 
under a VA or HUD program that provides assistance to homeless veterans 
and to identify any unmet demand by such veterans. The proposal would 
further require the collection of detailed information concerning each 
of these veterans.
    We do not support section 6 because the scope and magnitude of the 
proposed study is, in our view, beyond the ability of either Department 
to carry out. VA provides health care services to approximately 90,000 
homeless veterans each year, and HUD has indicated that 167,000 
homeless veterans were served in HUD-funded programs in FY 2000. To 
monitor and evaluate all services provided to all of these veterans, as 
contemplated by section 6, would be a complex, massive, and costly 
administrative undertaking. We would prefer to work with the Committees 
to identify more feasible means of achieving the goal of this section.

Section 7

    Section 7 would modify VA's current enhanced-use leasing authority 
with respect to how we select a lessee in enhanced-use leases. While we 
understand the objective of the proposal is to reduce delays by 
providing for an expeditious selection of a lessee for an enhanced-use 
leasing project for homeless veterans, we believe the current authority 
already provides this flexibility. Currently, the enhanced-use 
authority provides the Secretary with broad discretion in selecting an 
enhanced-use lessee by mandating only that VA follow a process that 
assures that there is ``integrity'' in the selection. The existing 
authority does not require that the competition requirements and 
procedures set forth in Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 
(``CICA'') apply to enhanced-use leases, but only that any selection be 
based on a process that assures that there is a consistency in 
application and fairness in selection of the lessee.
    The current lessee selection provision in the enhanced-use leasing 
authority enables VA, in the public interest, to establish selection 
policies for different types of enhanced-use leases. For example, it is 
VA's current policy that in order to secure the benefits of competition 
and to eliminate any sound basis for criticism on grounds of 
favoritism, VA should use a competitive negotiation process to obtain 
enhanced-use leases. However, the same policy allows for a direct 
enhanced-use lease in certain instances involving agreements with VA 
affiliates, states, local governments, not-for-profits, etc. This 
policy could be expanded to address the situation identified in the 
legislative proposal.
    We object to legislatively mandating the exception to the current 
selection standard because it could create an unnecessary ambiguity 
regarding the interpretation of current authority (which, as noted 
above, can already accommodate the desired policy). Such a construction 
may result in an inability for such projects to obtain financing due to 
uncertainty regarding their selection.

Section 8

    Section 8 would authorize the Secretary to establish up to ten more 
domiciliary programs under VA's Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans 
(DCHV). It would also authorize appropriations of $5 million for each 
of fiscal years 2003 and 2004 for purposes of establishing any such 
additional programs. While we support the program, we believe this 
provision is unnecessary because we already have sufficient authority 
to establish additional domiciliary programs as needed. Moreover, the 
needs of such new programs must compete for resources with the needs of 
other priorities.

Section 9

    Section 9 would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the 
Secretary of Labor to carry out a demonstration project to determine 
the costs and benefits of providing referral, vocational guidance, and 
counseling services to certain veterans regarding the benefits and 
services available to them through VA and the State. The demonstration 
project would have to be conducted at a minimum of six locations, 
including one penal institution under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of 
Prisons. Veterans eligible for these services would include those whose 
release or discharge from a penal institution or long-term mental 
health institution is ``imminent,'' i.e., the 60-day period that ends 
on the date of such release or discharge, who are at risk for 
homelessness absent receipt of such referral and counseling services. 
Counseling services would have to include counseling related to job 
training and placement, housing, healthcare and such other benefits to 
assist in transition from institutional living.
    We support this proposal, which would be a homelessness-prevention 
initiative. The Department of Justice estimated that there were 234,000 
incarcerated veterans in 1999. Approximately 8 percent were in Federal 
prisons, 62 percent in State prisons and 30 percent were in local 
jails. A Special Report on Veterans in Prison or Jail prepared by the 
Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated that in 1998 veterans accounted 
for 12 percent of all inmates. Based on surveys conducted in 1996 and 
1997, 45.4 percent of veterans in state prisons had used drugs in the 
month prior to their offense, 30.6 percent were alcohol dependent, and 
19.3 percent of veterans reported a mental illness. Among jail inmates, 
25 percent of veterans were identified as mentally ill. Approximately 
12.4 percent of veterans in state prisons and 23 percent of veterans in 
local jails indicated that they had been homeless for some period of 
time during the year prior to their offense.
    It is estimated that approximately one-third of VA's Vet Centers 
provide counseling and referrals to veterans in prisons and jails. In 
addition, staff in VA's homeless-veterans programs, mental health and 
community care service lines have begun to conduct outreach to veterans 
in prisons and jails in selected locations, across the country, 
including Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; and Columbia, SC; New York, NY; 
and other areas in New York State. The primary focus of these outreach 
efforts is to provide incarcerated veterans with pre-release counseling 
and, upon their release, to link them to VA health care, mental health 
and substance abuse treatment and to assist them with transitional 
housing and with participation in VA's Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) 
Program. In the first seven months of a jail outreach program initiated 
by staff of VA's New York Harbor Health Care System, 242 incarcerated 
veterans were contacted prior to release and 21 of these veterans were 
placed in a domiciliary program and/or a CWT Program. In Los Angeles, 
staff from VA's Greater Los Angeles Health Care System contacted over 
1,500 incarcerated veterans during a 2-month period in 2001. These 
veterans were offered assistance with discharge planning, placement and 
referral.

Section 10

    Section 10 would require VA to carry out a grant program for non-
profit entities providing independent housing units in group houses for 
veterans recovering from alcohol or other substance use disorders. The 
maximum amount that could be awarded for the establishment of a group 
house under this program would be $5,000 per individual grant.
    This proposal is somewhat similar to a loan program authorized by 
Public Law 102-54 that proved unworkable. The earlier program was a 
loan program, with re-payment requirements; whereas, this would be 
strictly a grant program.
    We do not believe this grant program is necessary. Existing 
authority in 38 U.S.C. 1771 already permits us to obtain treatment and 
rehabilitative services in half-way houses and community-based 
treatment facilities. In effect, this program would authorize us to 
obtain these same services through an elaborate and difficult to 
administer grant program. We anticipate the program would cost as much 
to operate as the benefits that would be provided. As such, it would 
not be cost-effective.
    Mr. Chairman, I would now like to address other pending legislation 
related to VA benefits for homeless veterans. As you know, this summer 
VA presented the Committee with the Department's official views on H.R. 
936, a bill entitled the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act. In July 2001, we provided testimony before the Senate 
on an identical version of that bill, S. 739 (as introduced). Our 
positions on those bills' identical provisions remain unchanged. For 
your convenience, we have reiterated our official views on H.R. 936 and 
S. 739 (as introduced) below. However, we would like to point out that 
on August 2, 2001, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee ordered 
reported an amended version of S. 739. S. 739 (as ordered reported) 
generally eliminated the provisions to which the Department had voiced 
objection. Accordingly, we would favor this bill over the House 
version.
                                h.r. 936
    H.R. 936, entitled the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act, is an ambitious and comprehensive piece of legislation 
that seeks to improve the services and benefits furnished to homeless 
veterans. We strongly support the objectives of the bill and generally 
support many of its provisions. However, we are unable to support some 
of the provisions largely because they duplicate long-standing 
activities and programs conducted by the Department for homeless 
veterans or more recent initiatives begun in fiscal year 2000. Today I 
will briefly comment on each of the sections of the bill.

Section 2

    Section 2 articulates Congress' findings regarding the magnitude 
and scope of homelessness among veterans, the inadequacy of current 
programs to provide them needed services, the levels of funding needed 
to provide beds to homeless veterans, and the commitment of the 
Congress to end homelessness among the Nation's veterans. Other 
findings articulate statistical information obtained from VA's report 
on activities conducted under the Community Homelessness Assessment, 
Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) program for veterans. 
Section 2 also defines various terms used in the bill.
    It is important to note that in light of more recent information 
from our CHALENG program the number of homeless veterans, as well as 
the number of additional beds needed for homeless veterans, are likely 
to be somewhat lower than the numbers cited in section 2.

Section 3

    Section 3 would declare a national goal of ending homelessness 
among veterans within a decade and encourage all governmental 
components, quasi-governmental departments, agencies, and private and 
public sector entities to work cooperatively in reaching this goal. We 
strongly support section 3.

Section 4

    Section 4 would establish a 15-member Advisory Committee on 
Homeless Veterans within the Department of Veterans Affairs, articulate 
the functions and responsibility of the Committee, and establish the 
pay, allowances and terms for members. It would also establish various 
reporting requirements. We share the view that an Advisory Committee 
would be beneficial, but a statutorily-created Committee is not needed. 
The Secretary has already announced his intention to establish an 
Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans with many of the same functions 
and objectives.

Section 5

    Section 5 would amend the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to 
require that the Interagency Council on Homeless (ICH) meet at the call 
of its Chairperson or a majority of its members and that the ICH meet 
at least annually. We support this provision.

Section 6

    Section 6 is concerned with evaluation of our programs for homeless 
veterans and calls for reporting to Congress on those programs. It 
would require the Secretary to support the continuation of at least one 
Department center for evaluation to monitor the structure, process, and 
outcome of VA's programs for homeless veterans. It would further 
require the Secretary to annually provide Congress with a detailed 
report on the health care needs of homeless veterans including 
information on our Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV) and 
Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. Section 6 would also 
require that we carry out our CHALENG assessment program on an annual 
basis and report to Congress on the findings and conclusions of the 
CHALENG report.
    We support the objective of the requirement for maintenance of an 
evaluation center, as called for in section 6, but we believe the 
objective can be achieved without legislation by expanding the mission 
of our Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC). We currently rely 
on NEPEC to monitor and evaluate the services provided to homeless 
veterans. Its current efforts are comprehensive with respect to the 
health care related services that are available and furnished to 
homeless veterans. However, we capture limited information on outreach 
activities and monetary benefits administered by the Veterans Benefits 
Administration (VBA) in connection with homeless veterans. Recognizing 
that our current efforts in this area are fragmented and incomplete, we 
plan to take steps to improve and strengthen the reporting of all 
programs and benefits to fully and effectively monitor and evaluate all 
of the Department's programs for homeless veterans.
    We do not support the requirements of section 6 that would 
statutorily require additional reporting and assessment activities. We 
are essentially already performing these assessment activities and 
reporting on them. Through the NEPEC, we provide ongoing monitoring and 
evaluation of our health care programs for homeless veterans. NEPEC 
provides detailed reports on structure, process, and outcomes for all 
specially funded homeless veterans programs as well as evaluation 
support for a wide range of other mental health programs that are not 
exclusively targeted to homeless veterans but are utilized by homeless 
veterans such as the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Program, and the 
Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence (CWT/TR) Program. In 
addition, the CHALENG program achieves the objectives of the proposed 
requirements.

Section 7

    Section 7 would require the Secretary to designate care and 
services provided to certain specified veterans as ``complex care'' for 
purposes of the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system (VERA). 
Veterans receiving the following types of care would be covered: (1) 
veterans enrolled in the Mental Health Intensive Community Case 
Management program; (2) continuous care in homeless chronically 
mentally ill veterans programs; (3) continuous care within specialized 
programs provided to veterans who have been diagnosed with both serious 
chronic mental illness and substance abuse disorders; (4) continuous 
therapy combined with sheltered housing provided to veterans in 
specialized treatment for substance use disorders; and (5) specialized 
therapies provided to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders 
(PTSD), including specialized outpatient PTSD programs; PTSD clinical 
teams; women veterans stress disorder treatment teams; and substance 
abuse disorder PTSD teams. Finally, section 7 would require that we 
ensure that funds for any new program for homeless veterans carried out 
through a Department health care facility are designated as special 
purpose program funds (not VERA funds) for the first three years of the 
program's operation.
    We do not support section 7 of the bill. The complex reimbursement 
rate under the VERA system is currently reserved for reimbursing VISNs 
for providing the most complex and expensive care, and should not be 
based on diagnosis or type of disorder being treated. Section 7 directs 
complex reimbursement based on broad and general diagnosis and does not 
consider whether the care is costly. For example, VA now treats some 
2,800 veterans in its Mental Health Intensive Community Case Management 
(MHICM) Program. If a veteran in that program receives at least 41 
visits per year, the VERA model will reimburse at the complex rate 
because that veteran is receiving costly care. Many others in the 
program have far fewer visits and are far less costly to treat. Section 
7 of this bill would require complex reimbursement for all of 2,800 
veterans in the program regardless of how many visits they have.
    The proposal could add more than 200,000 additional veterans into 
the category of patients for whom Veterans Integrated Service Networks 
(VISNs) receive complex reimbursement. This would require VHA to either 
set aside a greater percentage of the medical care appropriation for 
the care of veterans identified in this section, or significantly 
reduce the complex reimbursement rate per veteran treated. Neither 
option is acceptable. The first reduces funding for the standard care 
of veterans, and the second dilutes the reimbursement for complex care 
so that there is little incentive to provide services to these 
veterans. In addition, this approach provides a perverse incentive for 
clinicians to provide more treatment than is needed in order to qualify 
for the complex reimbursement rate. The effect of this provision would 
be to reduce the availability to veterans, including many who are 
homeless, of care not identified in the complex reimbursement category.

Section 8

    Section 8 would require that per diem payments paid to grantees of 
our Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program be calculated at the 
same rate that currently applies to VA per diem payments to State homes 
providing domiciliary care to veterans. Under current law, the homeless 
provider per diem rates are based on each grant recipient's costs. In 
short, we pay per diem that amounts to not more than 50 percent of the 
recipient's total costs up to a cap. To calculate the per diem rate for 
each grantee, we must document each recipient's costs. This is an 
extremely labor intensive and complex process.
    We support simplification of program management in the manner 
proposed. However, since domiciliary care and care under the Homeless 
Providers Grant and Per Diem Program vary in types of services and 
intensity, we support a per diem rate of 85 percent of the domiciliary 
care per diem rate. That would equate more closely with the actual cost 
of services provided under the Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem 
Program.

Section 9

    Section 9 would require that we carry out a new grant program for 
VA health care facilities and grantees of VA's Homeless Grant and Per 
Diem Payment Program. The new program would encourage the development 
of programs targeted at meeting special needs of homeless veterans, 
including those who are women, who are age 50 or older, who are 
substance abusers, who suffer from PTSD, a terminal illness, or a 
chronic mental illness; or who have care of minor dependents or other 
family members. The measure would also require a report that includes a 
detailed comparison of the results of the new grant program with those 
obtained for similar veterans in VA programs or in programs operated by 
grantees of VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.
    We appreciate the intent of this provision, but we do not support 
the section because it appears to be unnecessary. We currently operate 
and/or support successful programs that are specifically targeted at 
meeting the special needs of these particularly vulnerable groups of 
homeless veterans. We undertook several special program initiatives in 
2000 that were specifically targeted at the special needs of homeless 
veterans, including women veterans. A study of the effectiveness of the 
initiative related to homeless programs for women veterans is underway. 
Finally, we have been successful in establishing and cultivating 
relations with non-profits in the community to ensure a continuum of 
services for homeless veterans. We are concerned that this proposal may 
have a disruptive effect on those relationships by requiring our 
community partners to compete with VA facilities for these limited 
grant funds.

Section 10

    Section 10 would require that appropriate officials of our Mental 
Health Service and Readjustment Counseling Service initiate a 
coordinated plan for joint outreach on behalf of veterans at risk of 
homelessness, expressly including those who are being discharged from 
institutions such as inpatient psychiatric care units, substance abuse 
treatment programs, and penal institutions. The section sets out a 
detailed list of items and factors to be included or provided for in 
the plan.
    We support this provision in concept but suggest that it may be 
duplicative of our current outreach authority and statutory requirement 
to coordinate with other governmental and non-governmental agencies and 
organizations. However, we recognize the need for continuing to expand 
and improve our coordination efforts on behalf of homeless veterans and 
those at risk for homelessness and the concomitant need to report 
adequately on these efforts. We will work towards these ends.
    As to the issue of coordination between VHA and Vet Centers, our 
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Programs staff, who primarily 
serve under mental health service lines at VA medical centers, 
currently collaborate with Vet Centers staff regarding the needs of 
homeless veterans. (Vet Centers estimate that approximately 10 percent 
of veterans served in Vet Centers are homeless.) Referrals are 
regularly made between VA's specialized homeless programs and Vet 
Centers for appropriate services for veterans who are homeless or at 
risk for homelessness. In addition, Vet Centers staff are invited to 
attend and participate in CHALENG meetings. Further, HCHV staff and Vet 
Centers staff already collaborate with non-VA community-based service 
providers and with other government sponsored programs.

Section 11

    Section 11 would require that we conduct two treatment trials in 
integrated mental health services delivery. The bill defines 
``integrated mental health services delivery'' as ``a coordinated and 
standardized approach to evaluation for enrollment, treatment, and 
follow-up with patients who have both mental health disorders (to 
include substance use disorders) and medical conditions between mental 
health and primary health care professionals.'' One of the treatment 
trials would have to use a model incorporating mental health primary 
care teams and the other would have to use a model using patient 
assignment to a mental health primary care team that is linked with the 
patient's medical primary care team. We would also have to compare 
treatment outcomes obtained from the two treatment trials with those 
for similar chronically mentally ill veterans who receive treatment 
through traditionally consultative relationships. The VA Inspector 
General would have to review the medical records of participants and 
controls for both trials to ensure that the results are accurate.
    We share an interest in this area of clinical research and have 
decided to carry out the project contemplated by section 11 using 
mechanisms and special programs already in place, i.e. VA's Health 
Services Research and Development Service and the Department's MIRECCs 
program. In pursuing this endeavor, we welcome the opportunity to work 
with Committee staff to ensure the language of the request for research 
proposals satisfies the objectives of section 11. However, this 
particular research study (including the final analysis and report to 
Congress) would likely require more than the amount of time permitted 
under section 11. Additionally, VA program officials and evaluators 
will be expected to manage and report on the results of a project of 
this size without immediate and direct oversight from the Office of the 
Inspector General (OIG). If there is a need for human subject 
protection review, the Office of Research and Compliance Assurance 
(ORCA) should conduct it and OIG involvement should consist only of 
their current oversight of the activities of ORCA.

Section 12

    Section 12 would effectively extend eligibility for outpatient 
dental services, treatment, and appliances to certain veterans when 
such services, treatment, and appliances are needed to successfully 
gain or regain employment, to alleviate pain, or to treat moderate, 
severe, or severe and complicated gingival and periodontal pathology. 
The new authority would extend benefits to enrolled veterans who are 
receiving care in an array of VA settings, and community programs 
supported by VA.
    Although we recognize that these veterans need dental care and 
services, we do not support this provision because it would result in a 
disparity in access to needed outpatient dental care and services among 
equally deserving veterans. As an alternative, we will heighten and 
expand our current efforts to obtain dental care and services for 
homeless veterans through pro bono providers, dental schools and 
related teaching programs, and service providers receiving grants under 
VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.

Section 13

    Section 13 contains several varied provisions. The first would 
require the Secretary to develop standards to ensure that mental health 
services are available to veterans in a manner similar to that in which 
primary care is made available to veterans by requiring every VA 
primary care health care facility to have mental health treatment 
capacity. We certainly believe in equitable availability of mental 
health services and we have included such services in our basic 
benefits package. We are also already working to assure that all sites 
of care can either directly provide, contract for, or refer patients to 
other VA facilities for mental health care.
    Another provision in section 13 would require that we expend not 
less than $55 million from Medical Care funds for our Homeless 
Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. The amounts to be expended would 
also have to be increased for any fiscal year by the overall percentage 
increase in the Medical Care account for that fiscal year from the 
preceding fiscal year. We don't concur with this provision. We have 
offered grant funds each year for the past seven years. Grant fund 
availability has ranged from a low of $3.3 million in FY 1996 to a high 
of $15.3 million in FY 1998. Of the $32.4 million identified for the 
Grant and Per Diem Program in FY 2001, approximately $22 million is 
expected to be spent on per diem payments, leaving $10 million 
available for the eighth round of grants. We believe that making $10 
million available for grants is a reasonable funding level for any 
given year. Grant awards of $10 million assist with the development of 
approximately 1,000 community-based beds. It often takes grant 
recipients two years or longer to complete construction or renovation 
and to bring the program to full operation. During the development 
phase, VA staff at the national, VISN and VAMC level are available to 
assist grant recipients with any problems they might encounter. We 
believe this personal attention and assistance are partially 
responsible for the relatively high success rate of grant program 
implementation. Steady and reasonable growth in the Homeless Providers 
Grant and Per Diem Program appears to be one of the keys to the success 
of this program. It is likely that the Grant and Per Diem Program will 
reach a spending level of $55 million in the next five years.
    Moreover, a requirement to spend not less than $55 million next 
year and in future years may actually be counter-productive to 
achieving the goals of this program because it would require VA to fund 
programs that would otherwise not merit grant assistance based on 
competitive scoring criteria. Past experience has shown VA that not all 
grant applicants are able to propose viable projects. Indeed, less than 
50 applications received in any given year satisfy scoring criteria. 
This is not indicative of a program weakness; rather, it reflects the 
requirement that we award grants under the program only to those 
providers that demonstrate their viability and ability to succeed in 
meeting their grant applications' stated purpose(s).
    A third part of section 13 would require that we establish centers 
to provide comprehensive services to homeless veterans in at least each 
of the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Currently, we must 
have eight such centers.
    We support this provision, but defining what services would 
constitute a comprehensive homeless services program for each of the 20 
largest metropolitan statistical areas is a particularly complex task, 
which depends on the specific demographics of, and the services 
available in, each particular area. We would like to work with the 
Congress in defining what specific programs and services are envisioned 
by this provision.
    A fourth aspect of Section 13 would require us to ensure that 
opioid substitution therapy is available at each VA medical center. The 
VA does not support this provision because the need for a specific 
medical capability, including substance abuse therapies, may vary 
widely among the 173 VA medical centers. The medical programs of a 
given center should be determined by the medical needs of veterans in 
the area and not by a statutory requirement. However, we recognize the 
clinical value of this particular treatment. Indeed, we have 
established 36 opioid substitution programs in VA medical centers 
across the country and we are evaluating our substance abuse treatment 
needs to determine whether additional programs may be needed. If deemed 
to be medically necessary and appropriate, we will not hesitate to 
establish more programs where needed. In areas where our medical 
centers would not have the resources to directly operate such programs, 
we would seek to serve veterans who need opioid substitution therapy by 
purchasing these services from community treatment providers.
    Finally, the last part of section 13 would extend, through December 
31, 2006, both our authority to treat veterans who are suffering from 
serious mental illness, including veterans who are homeless and VA's 
authority to provide benefits and services to homeless veterans through 
VA's Comprehensive Homeless Centers. The authority for each of those 
programs will expire on December 31, 2001 and we support both 
extensions.

Section 14

    Section 14 would permit homeless veterans receiving care through 
vocational rehabilitation programs to participate in the Compensated 
Work Therapy program. It would also allow homeless veterans in VHA's 
Compensated Work Therapy program to receive housing through the 
therapeutic residence program or through grantees of VA's Homeless 
Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. We support both of those 
provisions.
    Section 14 would also require that we ensure that each Regional 
Office assign at least one employee to oversee and coordinate homeless 
veterans programs in that region, and that any regional office with at 
least 140 employees have at least one full-time employee assigned to 
the above-stated functions.
    We support the need for continued effective outreach to homeless 
veterans, but we have concerns about the proposed staffing 
requirements. Homeless Veterans Outreach Coordinators are already 
assigned at each VBA regional office. In most instances, this 
assignment is a collateral duty and not a full-time assignment. There 
are, however, some regional offices at which a full-time coordinator is 
assigned as necessitated by the size of the homeless veteran population 
and homeless support programs within its jurisdictional area. In 
addition, we have eight full-time homeless outreach coordinators 
assigned as members of our Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program 
and DCHV programs. We also have two offices that have a part-time 
employee on the homeless program. These positions are reimbursed by 
VHA. The staffing requirement in this measure would therefore be an 
unfunded mandate for which employees would have to be re-assigned from 
other key duties such as claims processing, rating functions, etc. In 
addition, we believe the veteran population and its particular needs, 
not the organizational structure of an office, should determine the 
number and type of outreach coordinators assigned.
    Finally, the last part of section 14 would require disabled 
veterans' outreach program specialists and local veterans' employment 
representatives where available to also coordinate training assistance 
benefits provided to veterans by entities receiving financial 
assistance under section 738 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance 
Act. We support this provision.

Section 15

    Section 15 would require that, with a limited exception, real 
property of grantees under our Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem 
Program meet fire and safety requirements applicable under the Life 
Safety Code of the NFPA.
    We strongly support this requirement. The fire and safety 
requirements under the Life Safety Code, National Fire Protection 
Association Standard 101, have been developed through consensus of 
experts across the country. They assure a consistent level of safety 
for homeless veterans living in transitional housing or receiving 
services in supportive service centers developed under the Grant and 
Per Diem Program. Entities that have received grants in recent years 
have been aware of VA's preference for structures to meet the fire and 
safety requirements under the Life Safety Code of NFPA and have 
developed their grant applications to cover the costs associated with 
meeting those requirements. There are, however, some organizations that 
received grant awards and their buildings do not meet the fire and 
safety requirements under the Life Safety Code of NFPA. It is therefore 
particularly valuable that this measure would permit VA to award grant 
assistance to these entities to enable them to upgrade their facilities 
to meet the Life Safety Code of NFPA.

Section 16

    Section 16 would establish a three-year pilot program to provide 
transitional assistance grants to up to 600 eligible homeless veterans 
at not less than three but not more than six regional offices. The 
sites for the pilot must include at least one regional office located 
in a large urban area and at least one serving primarily rural 
veterans. To be eligible, a veteran would have to live in the area of 
the regional office, be a war veteran or meet minimum service 
requirements, be recently released, or in the process of being released 
from an institution, be homeless and have less then marginal income.
    Grants under the program would be limited to three months with an 
exception for any veteran who, while receiving such transitional 
assistance, has a claim pending for service-connected disability 
compensation or non-service-connected pension. Such veterans could 
continue to receive transitional assistance under this section until 
the earlier of (A) the date on which a decision on the claim is made by 
the regional office, or (B) the end of the six-month period beginning 
on the date of expiration of eligibility under subsection (c). The 
measure would also require the Department to expedite its consideration 
of pending claims of veterans. VA would have to pay the grants monthly 
and in the same amount as that which VA would be obligated to pay under 
chapter 15 of title 38, United States Code, if the veteran had a 
permanent and total non-service-connected disability. VA would have to 
determine the amount of the grant without regard to the income of the 
veteran, once it is determined the veteran meets the eligibility 
criteria. Finally it would require the Department to offset the amount 
of retroactive disability or pension benefits paid to a veteran by the 
amount of transitional assistance provided to the veteran for the same 
monthly period.
    We cannot support section 16, as it appears to be at odds with the 
inherent interest of our attempts at rehabilitation. The provision 
lacks safeguards or limitations on the receipt and use of the grant 
funds, notwithstanding the strong likelihood that many of the grant 
recipients would be veterans suffering from mental illnesses and/or 
substance abuse disorders. Awarding funds to these veterans without 
also requiring them to participate in simultaneous clinical 
intervention or oversight would result in many of them not seeking the 
care and treatment necessary to overcome their disorders. This, in 
turn, could keep those veterans in a condition of homelessness. Simply 
awarding grant funds, as proposed, is not, in our view, an appropriate 
means for making these vulnerable veterans self-sufficient.

Section 17

    Section 17 would require that we conduct a technical assistance 
grants program to assist non-profit groups, which are experienced in 
providing services to homeless veterans, to apply for grants related to 
addressing problems of homeless veterans. The measure would authorize 
$750,000 to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005 
to carry out the program. We do not support this section as we already 
provide extensive information about the Homeless Providers Grant and 
Per Diem Program through the Internet, participation in national, state 
and some local conferences and one-on-one discussions between 
interested applicants and VA program managers.

Section 18

    Section 18 would authorize the Secretary to waive any requirement 
that a veteran purchasing a manufactured home with the assistance of a 
VA guaranteed loan own or purchase a lot to which the manufactured home 
is permanently affixed.
    We do not favor this provision. Rather than address the specifics 
of this section of the bill, we have concluded the manufactured home 
loan program no longer provides a viable benefit to veterans, homeless 
or otherwise. Accordingly, VA recommends that the manufactured home 
loan program, which for all intents and purposes is dormant, be 
terminated.
    The number of veterans obtaining manufactured housing loans has 
significantly declined over the years since fiscal year 1983 when VA 
guaranteed 15,725 such loans. No manufactured housing loans have been 
guaranteed since fiscal year 1996.
    The cumulative foreclosure rate on VA manufactured home loans is 
39.2 percent, which is significantly higher than the 5.6 percent rate 
for loans for conventionally-built homes. This foreclosure rate has 
greatly increased the cost to the taxpayers of the VA housing loan 
program and resulted in substantial debts being established against 
veterans.
    Therefore, VA does not believe the manufactured home loan program 
has any role in the effort to assist homeless veterans.

Section 19

    Section 19 would increase from $20 million to $50 million the 
amount authorized to be appropriated for the Homeless Veterans' 
Reintegration Programs for Fiscal Year 2002 and Fiscal Year 2003. It 
would also authorize that same amount to be appropriated for purposes 
of this program for fiscal years 2004, 2005, and 2006. VA defers to the 
Secretary of Labor, who administers the Homeless Veterans' 
Reintegration Programs.

Section 20

    Section 20 would require the Secretary, before disposing of real 
property as excess, to determine that the property is not suitable for 
use for the provision of services to homeless veterans by the 
Department or by another entity under an enhanced-use lease. Although 
we agree with the purpose of section 20, this provision appears to be 
redundant with existing authorities. Under the Department's enhanced-
use leasing authority, we now have the ability to lease available lands 
and facilities for compatible uses including those that provide 
services to homeless veterans. We have, in fact, recently used this 
authority to obtain a 120-unit ``Single Room Occupancy'' (SRO) housing 
complex in Vancouver, Washington, and a 63-unit SRO in Roseburg, 
Oregon. We are examining similar initiatives nationwide. In addition, 
pursuant to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, the Department surveys its 
property holdings and provides quarterly reports to the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development on the availability of excess or 
underutilized properties for housing for the homeless. In general 
terms, the provisions of the McKinney Act related to surplus federal 
property require each Department, in deeming property under its 
jurisdiction to be unutilized, under-utilized, or excess, to state that 
the property cannot be made available for use to assist the homeless. 
Before ultimately disposing of such property, the McKinney Act requires 
the Government to again give priority of consideration to uses to 
assist the homeless. Given that VA has active programs in place that 
strive to achieve the objective reflected in section 20, establishing a 
duplicate requirement would only lend confusion to the process.
    Mr. Chairman, this ends my statement. Thank you for this 
opportunity to discuss all of this important legislation. I would be 
glad to answer any questions you or any of the Members might have.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    The following letter was received from the Congressional 
Budget Office concerning the cost of the reported bill:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 12, 2001.
Hon. Christopher H. Smith
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2716, the Stuart 
Collick--Health French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sam 
Papenfuss, who can reached at 226-2840.

            Sincerely,
                                            Dan L. Crippen,
                                                          Director.

    Enclosure.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

   H.R. 2716, Stuart Collick-Heather French Henry, Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Veterans' 
                      Affairs on October 10, 2001

    SUMMARY. H.R. 2716 contains several provisions that would 
change how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides 
assistance to homeless and other veterans and also would 
consolidate several existing provisions of law dealing with 
homeless veterans into one chapter of Title 38 of the U.S. 
Code. The bill would provide for greater access to drug 
treatment, mental health, and dental programs for homeless 
veterans and extend the authority for VA to provide health care 
to homeless veterans outside of VA facilities. H.R. 2716 also 
would require VA to establish comprehensive homeless services 
centers in the 20 largest metropolitan areas. The bill would 
authorize funds for programs designed to provide shelter and 
housing to homeless veterans including new domiciliary care 
programs in up to 10 cities.
    H.R. 2716 would require the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) to set aside a certain number of rental 
vouchers each year to be used by homeless veterans. Under the 
bill, VA and the Department of Labor would establish a pilot 
program to assist veterans at risk for homelessness. Finally, 
the bill would authorize more money for the homeless veterans 
reintegration program operated by the Department of Labor.
    H.R. 2716 would authorize funding or modify provisions 
governing discretionary spending for veterans' programs, which 
CBO estimates would result in additional outlays of about $90 
million in 2002 and about $945 million over the 2002-2006 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Because the bill would not affect direct spending or receipts, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 2716 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.

    ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2716 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 500 
(education, employment, and social services), 600 (income 
security), and 700 (veterans benefits and services).

    BASIS OF ESTIMATE
    For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be 
enacted early in fiscal year 2002, that the necessary funds to 
implement the bill will be appropriated for each year, and that 
outlays will follow historical spending patterns for existing 
or similar programs.

    Veterans' Medical Care. CBO estimates that implementing 
H.R. 2716 would increase discretionary spending for veterans' 
medical care by $89 million in 2002 and $785 million over the 
2002-2006 period.

    Opioid Substitution Therapy.--Currently, VA provides 
treatment for veterans addicted to narcotics, using methadone 
and other drugs, at only 36 of its 172 hospitals. Section 8 
would require VA to implement this treatment program at all of 
the remaining 136 hospitals. According to VA, about 5,000 
veterans currently receive drug addiction treatment at an 
annual cost of about $4,500 per person. In total, VA estimates 
that approximately 35,000 veterans are eligible for this 
treatment. CBO expects that expanding this program to all 
hospitals could eventually lead to treatment of about half of 
those eligible veterans. Assuming a four-year phase-in period, 
CBO estimates that requiring VA to provide opioid substitution 
therapy at all VA hospitals would cost $13 million in 2002 and 
about $250 million over the 2002-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the estimated amounts.

    Grant and Per Diem Programs.--Under current law, VA may 
provide grants to nonprofit organizations that serve the 
homeless. These grants partially subsidize the construction, 
acquisition, and outreach costs of providing shelter and beds 
to homeless veterans but not the daily costs of the operation. 
VA may also provide a per diem payment that covers not more 
than 50 percent of the daily costs of providing shelter to 
homeless veterans. These rates are calculated annually to 
ensure that VA does not pay more than half of the daily costs 
of providing shelter. In 2001, VA estimated that it would spend 
about $33 million on the two programs. Funding for these 
programs comes from VA's annual appropriation for medical care.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2001      2002      2003      2004      2005      2006
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                             VETERANS' MEDICAL CARE

Baseline Spending Under Cur-
rent Law
  EstimatedAuthorization Level \1\..................    20,863    21,866    22,110    22,839    23,547    24,285
  Estimated Outlays.................................    20,418    21,501    22,020    22,613    23,298    24,028

Proposed Changes
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................         0        99       157       190       201       158
  Estimated Outlays.................................         0        89       150       186       199       161

Spending Under H.R. 2716
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................    20,863    21,965    22,267    23,029    23,748    24,443
  Estimated Outlays.................................    20,418    21,590    22,170    22,799    23,497    24,189


                                     HOMELESS VETERANS REINTEGRATION PROGRAM

Spending Under Current Law \2\
  Authorization Level...............................         0        20        20         0         0         0
  Estimated Outlays.................................         0         2        14        18         6         0

Proposed Changes
  Authorization Level...............................         0        30        30        50        50        50
  Estimated Outlays.................................         0         3        21        32        44        50

Spending Under H.R. 2716
  Authorization Level...............................         0        50        50        50        50        50
  Estimated Outlays.................................         0         5        35        50        50        50



                                          HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Baseline Spending Under Cur-
rent Law
  EstimatedAuthorization Level \3\..................    12,082    16,165    17,110    17,761    18,271    18,753
  Estimated Outlays.................................    16,492    17,525    18,265    18,620    19,094    19,603

Proposed Changes
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................         0         0         3         6         9        13
  Estimated Outlays.................................         0         0         0         1         3         6

Spending Under H.R. 2716
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................    12,082    16,165    17,113    17,767    18,280    18,766
  Estimated Outlays.................................    16,492    17,525    18,265    18,621    19,097    19,609


                             SUMMARY OF CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level.......................         0       129       190       246       260       221
Estimated Outlays...................................         0        92       171       219       246       217
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2001 level is the estimated net amount appropriated for that year. The current-law amounts for the 2002-
  2006 period assume that appropriations remain at the 2001 level, with adjustment for inflation.
\2\ This program was authorized by Public Law 106-117, but the Congress has not appropriated any money for it
  yet. ``Spending Under Current Law'' reflects the prior authorization and CBO's estimate of outlays if funds
  were appropriated for 2002 and 2003.
\3\ The 2001 level is the amount appropriated for that year. The current-law amounts for the 2002-2006 period
  remain at the 2001 level with adjustments to maintain the stock of subsidized housing at the current-law
  level.


    Section 5 of H.R. 2716 would authorize appropriations to VA 
for these programs of $60 million in 2002 and $75 million a 
year for 2003, 2004, and 2005. CBO assumes that in the absence 
of this bill, VA would continue to spend what it has in the 
past on the grant and per diem programs, with adjustments for 
inflation. CBO estimates that implementing this provision would 
increase spending by $23 million in 2002 and about $140 million 
over the 2002-2006 period, assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts.
    Section 5 also would affect the grant and per diem programs 
by changing the way per diem rates are calculated. Under the 
bill, VA would use the same rate that is authorized for 
veterans receiving domiciliary care at VA State Homes. That 
rate is about $3 per day higher than the average rate paid for 
homeless shelter. According to VA, the number of beds in use is 
expected to double from 2,500 in 2001 to about 5,000 in 2005. 
Thus, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost 
$3 million in 2002 and about $20 million over the 2002-2006 
period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.
    Finally, section 5 would authorize $10 million a year in 
2003, 2004, and 2005 for a grant program to develop care for 
homeless veterans with special needs including women, substance 
abusers, the terminally ill, and those with minor dependents. 
CBO estimates that implementing this grant program would cost 
$30 million over the 2003-2006 period, assuming appropriation 
of the authorized amounts.

    Comprehensive Homeless Services Program.--Under current 
law, VA provides at least 15 different programs to assist 
homeless veterans. These services are provided in over 140 
cities across the country but no one location offers all of the 
programs. Within this framework, VA operates eight centers that 
offer comprehensive homeless services. Under section 8, VA 
would be required to establish similar centers in the 20 
largest metropolitan areas. CBO assumes that this section would 
require the establishment of 14 new centers since VA operates 
comprehensive homeless services centers in six of the 20 
largest metropolitan areas today.
    Since none of the existing centers provide exactly the same 
services, CBO assumes that these new centers would offer those 
services that are provided by a majority of the existing 
centers. Seven programs are provided by at least four of the 
eight centers, including domiciliary care for homeless 
veterans, compensated work therapy, and the grant and per diem 
programs. Of the seven programs, six are not available in most 
of the 14 metropolitan areas where these new centers would be 
established. For those programs that do not already exist in 
these metropolitan areas, CBO used data from VA to calculate 
the average cost to establish and administer each program. CBO 
estimates that creating these comprehensive homeless services 
centers and operating these programs would cost $27 million in 
2002 and about $150 million over the 2002-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the estimated amounts.

    Domiciliary Care.--In addition to the domiciliary programs 
that would be established as part of the comprehensive homeless 
services centers, section 5 would explicitly allow VA to 
establish up to 10 new programs for the purpose of providing 
domiciliary care to homeless veterans and would authorize $5 
million a year for 2003 and 2004 to establish these additional 
programs. Using data from VA, CBO estimates that an average 
domiciliary care program costs a little more than $1 million a 
year to operate. Assuming that five new programs begin 
operation in 2003 and another five start in 2004, CBO estimates 
that implementing this provision would cost $7 million in 2003, 
and about $40 million over the 2003-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the estimated amounts.

    Mental Health.--Section 8 would require that mental health 
services be made available in all VA facilities that furnish 
health care. Currently, VA provides mental health services as 
part of its normal health care, but these services are not 
readily available at all VA medical facilities. According to 
VA, about 120 primary care clinics do not provide any mental 
health services. CBO estimates that offering those services in 
these clinics would cost roughly $150,000 per clinic, and would 
include providing a social worker, a substance-abuse counselor, 
and a clinical psychologist at each clinic. CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $17 million in 2002 and 
about $100 million over the 2002-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.

    Dental Care.--Under current law, VA provides dental care 
for service-connected disabilities or when dental care is 
medically necessary pursuant to receiving other authorized 
medical care. Section 5 would allow certain homeless veterans 
to receive dental care that is necessary to gain employment, 
alleviate pain, or to treat moderate or worse cases of gingival 
and periodontal pathology.
    Using data from VA, CBO estimates about 40,000 homeless 
veterans would be eligible for the service based on their 
participation in shelter programs run or sponsored by VA. 
However, only about half of those eligible are likely to use 
the benefit. CBO estimates that the initial episode of care 
would cost roughly $900 per person and that most of this care 
would occur in the first three years of the program being 
offered. Subsequent follow-up visits would cost about $200 
assuming that the veteran returns for care every other year. 
CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $5 
million in 2002 and about $30 million over the 2002-2006 
period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.

    Housing Program.--Section 12 would require HUD to set aside 
vouchers out of Section 8 voucher funds to provide housing 
assistance to homeless veterans beginning in 2003. Under the 
provision, 500 vouchers would be set aside in fiscal year 2003, 
and that number would grow to 2,000 vouchers by fiscal year 
2006. To implement section 12, VA would need to provide case 
managers for the veterans who receive housing vouchers. Based 
on information provided by VA, CBO estimates that the salary 
and benefits for a case manger would be about $60,000 per year 
and that a case manager could handle a caseload of about 30 
veterans. CBO estimates that implementing this provision would 
cost about $1 million in 2003 and $10 million over the 2003-
2006 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts. 
(Implementing this section also would increase discretionary 
spending for Housing and Urban Development housing programs. 
CBO's estimate of these costs is discussed below under the 
heading of ``Rental Assistance.'')

    Pilot Program.--Section 5 would establish a pilot program 
to provide referral and counseling services to help prevent 
homelessness among veterans after they are released from a 
penal institution or a hospital where they received long-term 
treatment for a mental illness. The pilot program would be 
implemented in at least six penal institutions or hospitals and 
would last for four years. CBO assumes that the pilot program 
would entail providing three counselors per institution and 
cost about $300,000 per institution. Assuming that all 
counselors are in place at the start of fiscal year 2003, CBO 
estimates that this program would cost about $2 million a year 
over the 2003-2006 period, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts.

    Assistance for Grant Applications.--Section 5 would 
authorize $750,000 a year in fiscal years 2002 through 2005 for 
technical assistance grants to not-for-profit groups with 
experience in providing assistance to homeless veterans. These 
funds would help the groups in applying for grants to address 
problems of homeless veterans. Accordingly, CBO estimates that 
implementing this section would cost about $1 million in 2002 
and $3 million over the 2002-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts.

    Medical Care for Homeless Veterans.--Section 5 would extend 
for five years a provision of current law that allows VA to 
provide outreach services to homeless veterans and medical care 
in non-VA facilities including community-based treatment 
facilities and halfway houses. Under current law, this 
provision is set to expire on December 31, 2001. VA currently 
spends about $58 million to provide medical care to homeless 
veterans both in and out of VA facilities. CBO estimates that 
about 20 percent of that care is provided under the expiring 
provision. At that rate, CBO estimates that allowing VA to 
continue these services would cost $8 million in 2002 and $60 
million over the 2002-2006 period, assuming appropriation of 
the estimated amounts. Because VA is currently funding this 
program, those costs are implicitly included in the baseline 
levels for veterans' medical care, and thus are not included in 
the estimate of ``proposed changes'' shown in the table above.

    Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. Section 5 would 
increase the authorization of appropriations to be used by the 
Department of Labor to integrate homeless veterans into the 
labor force from $20 million to $50 million a year for 2002 and 
2003. It would also authorize $50 million a year for 2004, 
2005, and 2006. Although the program was authorized by Public 
Law 106-117, the Congress has not yet appropriated any money 
for it. CBO estimates that the increased authorization would 
cost $3 million in 2002 and $150 million over the 2002-2006 
period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.

    Rental Assistance. Section 12 would require HUD to set 
aside vouchers out of Section 8 voucher funds to provide 
housing assistance to homeless veterans beginning in 2003. 
Under the provision, 500 vouchers would be set aside in fiscal 
year 2003, and that number would grow to 2,000 vouchers by 
fiscal year 2006. VA would administer these vouchers under a 
housing program that would provide homeless veterans suffering 
from chronic mental illness (including those with substance 
abuse disorders) with rental assistance linked to ongoing case 
management and treatment. Based on information provided by HUD 
and VA, CBO estimates that, in a typical month, only about 85 
percent of these vouchers would be used because turnover would 
cause some vouchers to go unused for some months. CBO also 
estimates that the set-aside vouchers would have a slower rate 
of spending and a lower utilization rate than standard vouchers 
because of the special needs of this population. CBO estimates 
that the issuing and renewal of these vouchers would increase 
outlays by $10 million over the 2004-2006 period, assuming 
appropriation of the estimated amounts. (The costs for VA to 
administer this program are discussed above in the medical care 
section.)

    PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS: None.

    INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT. H.R. 2716 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Public agencies would be eligible to 
receive grants to provide and enhance services to homeless 
veterans. Any requirements associated with these grants would 
be undertaken voluntarily.

    PREVIOUS CBO ESTIMATES. On April 12, 2001, CBO prepared a 
cost estimate for H.R. 936, the Heather French Henry Homeless 
Veterans Assistance Act, as introduced in the House on March 8, 
2001, with a subsequent change to section 17. Those provisions 
relating to opioid substitution therapy, mental health 
benefits, comprehensive homeless services program, dental 
benefits, new per diem payment rates, and the homeless veterans 
reintegration program are the same for both bills. In addition, 
H.R. 2716 would explicitly authorize funds for the homeless 
grant and per diem programs in amounts that are slightly 
greater than the implicit authorization contained in H.R. 936. 
H.R. 2716 also would explicitly authorize 10 new domiciliary 
programs which would increase its costs relative to H.R. 936. 
H.R. 2716 would authorize funds for a technical grant program 
through 2005, while the amended version of H.R. 936 would 
authorize those funds through 2006. In addition to these 
provisions, H.R. 2716 would establish a pilot program to assist 
veterans at risk for homelessness and would authorize Section 8 
housing vouchers to be set aside for homeless veterans.
    On August 17, 2001, CBO prepared an estimate for S. 739, 
the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
on August 2, 2001. Those provisions relating to new per diem 
rates and the homeless veterans reintegration program are the 
same for both bills. H.R. 2716 would authorize 14 new 
comprehensive homeless services centers, while S. 739 would 
authorize up to five new programs. In addition, H.R. 2716 would 
explicitly authorize funds for the homeless grant and per diem 
programs in amounts that are slightly greater than the implicit 
authorization contained in S. 739. H.R. 2716 also would 
explicitly authorize 10 new domiciliary programs, which would 
increase its costs relative to S. 739. H.R. 2716 would 
authorize funds for a technical grant program through 2005, 
while S. 739 would authorize those funds through 2006. In 
addition to these provisions, H.R. 2716 would increase benefits 
in the opioid substitution therapy program, mental health 
programs, dental care for homeless veterans, establish a pilot 
program to assist veterans at risk for homelessness and would 
authorize Section 8 housing vouchers to be set aside for 
homeless veterans.

    ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:

        Federal Costs:
        Veterans Medical Care: Sam Papenfuss.
        Rental Assistance: Chad Chirico.
        Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program: Christi Hawley 
        Sadoti.
        Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Elyse 
        Goldman.
    Impact on the Private Sector: Sally Sagraves Maxwell.

    ESTIMATE APPROVED BY:

        Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
        Analysis.

Letters Between the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on 
                           Financial Services

                                                  October 11, 2001.
Hon. Christopher H. Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

    Dear Chairman Smith: I understand that the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs recently ordered H.R. 2716, the Stuart 
Collick- Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act, 
reported to the House. As you know, the Committee on Financial 
Services was granted an additional referral upon the 
resolution's introduction pursuant to the Committee's 
jurisdiction over housing under rule X of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives.
    Because of the importance of this matter, I recognize your 
desire to bring this legislation before the House in an 
expeditious manner and will waive consideration of the 
resolution by the Financial Services Committee. By agreeing to 
waive its consideration of the resolution, the Financial 
Services Committee does not waive its jurisdiction over H.R. 
2716. In addition, the Committee on Financial Services reserves 
its authority to seek conferees on any provisions of the bill 
that are within the Financial Services Committee's jurisdiction 
during any House-Senate conference that may be convened on this 
legislation. I ask your commitment to support any request by 
the Committee on Financial Services for conferees on H.R. 2716 
or related legislation.
    I request that you include this letter and your response as 
part of the Congressional Record during consideration of the 
legislation on the House floor.
    Thank you for your attention to these matters.

            Sincerely,
                                          Michael G. Oxley,
                         Chairman, Committee on Financial Services.

cc: LThe Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker
   LThe Honorable John J. LaFalce
   LThe Honorable Marge Roukema
   LThe Honorable Barney Frank
   LThe Honorable Charles W. Johnson, III, Parliamentarian

                                ------                                --
------

                                                  October 12, 2001.
Hon. Michael G. Oxley,
Chairman, Committee on Financial Services,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

    Dear Chairman Oxley: Thank you for your letter regarding 
your Committee's jurisdictional interest in H.R. 2716, the 
``Stuart Collick-Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act''.
    I acknowledge your committee's jurisdictional interest in 
this legislation and appreciate your cooperation in moving the 
bill to the House floor expeditiously. I agree that your 
decision to forego further action on the bill will not 
prejudice the Committee on Financial Services with respect to 
its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar legislation. 
I will include a copy of your letter and this response in the 
Committee's report on the bill and the Congressional Record 
when the legislation is considered by the House.
    Thank you again for your cooperation.

            Sincerely,
                                      Christopher H. Smith,
                          Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

cc: LThe Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker
   LThe Honorable John J. LaFalce
   LThe Honorable Marge Roukema
   LThe Honorable Barney Frank
   LThe Honorable Charles W. Johnson, III, Parliamentarian

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

    The preceding Congressional Budget Office cost estimate 
states that the bill contains no intergovernmental or private 
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The reported bill would not be applicable to the 
legislative branch under the Congressional Accountability Act, 
Public Law 104-1, because the bill would only affect certain 
Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor and 
Department of Housing and Urban Development programs and 
benefits recipients.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
of the United States.''

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
                       PART I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

    CHAPTER
                                                               Sec.
      General........................................................101
     * * * * * * *

                        PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

      Compensation for Service-Connected Disability or Death........1101
     * * * * * * *
      Insurance.....................................................1901
      Benefits for Homeless Veterans................................2001
     * * * * * * *

                       PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

CHAPTER                                                             Sec.
      Compensation for Service-Connected Disability or Death........1101
     * * * * * * *
      Insurance.....................................................1901
      Benefits for Homeless Veterans................................2001
     * * * * * * *

    CHAPTER 17--HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME, DOMICILIARY, AND MEDICAL CARE

                          subchapter i--general

Sec.
1701.    Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

[subchapter vii--treatment and rehabilitation for seriously mentally ill 
                          and homeless veterans

[1771.    General treatment.
[1772.    Therapeutic housing.
[1773.    Additional services at certain locations.
[1774.    Coordination with other agencies and organizations.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1706. Management of health care: other requirements

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The Secretary shall develop standards to ensure that 
mental health services are available to veterans in a manner 
similar to the manner in which primary care is available to 
veterans who require services by ensuring that each primary 
care health care facility of the Department has a mental health 
treatment capacity.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 SUBCHAPTER II--HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME OR DOMICILIARY CARE AND MEDICAL 
TREATMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1720A. Treatment and rehabilitative services for persons with drug 
                    or alcohol dependency

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The Secretary shall ensure that opioid substitution 
therapy is available at each Department medical center.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               CHAPTER 20--BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

       subchapter i--purpose; definitions; administrative matters

Sec.
2001. Purpose.
2002. Definitions.
2003. Staffing requirements.
2004. Employment assistance.

              subchapter ii--comprehensive service programs

2011. Grants.
2012. Per diem payments.
2013. Authorization of appropriations.

                  subchapter iii--training and outreach

2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.
2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
          homelessness.
2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling for 
          veterans transitioning from certain institutions who are at 
          risk for homelessness.

 subchapter iv--treatment and rehabilitation for seriously mentally ill 
                          and homeless veterans

2031. General treatment.
2032. Therapeutic housing.
2033. Additional services at certain locations.
2034. Coordination with other agencies and organizations.

                    subchapter v--housing assistance

2041. Housing assistance for homeless veterans.
2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in compensated work 
          therapies.
2043. Domiciliary care programs.

   subchapter vi--loan guarantee for multifamily transitional housing

2051. General authority.
2052. Requirements.
2053. Default.
2054. Audit.

                    subchapter vii--other provisions

2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special needs.
2062. Dental care.
2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based groups.
2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans.
2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.

       SUBCHAPTER I--PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS; ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Sec. 2001. Purpose

  The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the special 
needs of homeless veterans.

Sec. 2002. Definitions

  In this chapter:
          (1) The term ``homeless veteran'' means a veteran 
        who--
                  (A) lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate 
                nighttime residence; or
                  (B) has a primary nighttime residence that 
                is--
                          (i) a supervised publicly or 
                        privately operated shelter designed to 
                        provide temporary living accommodations 
                        (including welfare hotels, congregate 
                        shelters, grant per diem shelters and 
                        transitional housing for the mentally 
                        ill);
                          (ii) an institution that provides a 
                        temporary residence for individuals 
                        intended to be institutionalized; or
                          (iii) a public or private place not 
                        designed for, or ordinarily used as, a 
                        regular sleeping accommodation for 
                        human beings.
          (2) The term ``grant and per diem provider'' means an 
        entity in receipt of a grant under section 2011 or 2012 
        of this title.

Sec. 2003. Staffing requirements

  (a) VBA Staffing at Regional Offices.--The Secretary shall 
ensure that there is assigned at each Veterans Benefits 
Administration regional office at least one employee assigned 
specifically to oversee and coordinate homeless veterans 
programs in that region. In any such regional office with at 
least 140 employees, there shall be at least one full-time 
employee assigned to such functions. The programs covered by 
such oversight and coordination include the following:
          (1) The housing program for veterans supported by the 
        Department of Housing and Urban Development.
          (2) Housing programs supported by the Secretary under 
        this title or any other provision of law.
          (3) The homeless veterans reintegration program of 
        the Department of Labor under section 2021 of this 
        title.
          (4) The programs under section 2033 of this title.
          (5) The assessments required by section 2034 of this 
        title.
          (6) Such other duties relating to homeless veterans 
        as may be assigned.
  (b) VHA Case Managers.--The Secretary shall ensure that the 
number of case managers in the Veterans Health Administration 
is sufficient to assure that every veteran who is provided a 
housing voucher through section 8(o) of the United States 
Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) is assigned to, and is 
able to be seen as needed by, a case manager.

Sec. 2004. Employment assistance

  The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans receiving care 
through vocational rehabilitation programs to participate in 
the compensated work therapy program under section 1718 of this 
title.

             SUBCHAPTER II--COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS

Sec. 2011. Grants

  (a) Authority To Make Grants.--(1) Subject to the 
availability of appropriations provided for such purpose, the 
Secretary shall make grants to assist eligible entities in 
establishing programs to furnish, and expanding or modifying 
existing programs for furnishing, the following to homeless 
veterans:
          (A) Outreach.
          (B) Rehabilitative services.
          (C) Vocational counseling and training
          (D) Transitional housing assistance.
  (2) The authority of the Secretary to make grants under this 
section expires on September 30, 2005.
  (b) Criteria for Award of Grants.--The Secretary shall 
establish criteria and requirements for the award of a grant 
under this section, including criteria for entities eligible to 
receive such grants, and shall publish such criteria and 
requirements in the Federal Register. The criteria established 
under this section shall include the following:
          (1) Specification as to the kinds of projects for 
        which such grant support is available, which shall 
        include--
                  (A) expansion, remodeling, or alteration of 
                existing buildings, or acquisition of 
                facilities, for use as service centers, 
                transitional housing, or other facilities to 
                serve homeless veterans; and
                  (B) procurement of vans for use in outreach 
                to, and transportation for, homeless veterans 
                to carry out the purposes set forth in 
                subsection (a).
          (2) Specification as to the number of projects for 
        which grant support is available.
          (3) Appropriate criteria for the staffing for the 
        provision of the services for which a grant under this 
        section is furnished.
          (4) Provisions to ensure that the award of grants 
        under this section--
                  (A) shall not result in duplication of 
                ongoing services; and
                  (B) to the maximum extent practicable, shall 
                reflect appropriate geographic dispersion and 
                an appropriate balance between urban and 
                nonurban locations.
          (5) Provisions to ensure that an entity receiving a 
        grant shall meet fire and safety requirements 
        established by the Secretary, which shall include--
                  (A) such State and community requirements 
                that may apply; and
                  (B) the fire and safety requirements 
                applicable under the Life Safety Code of the 
                National Fire Protection Association.
          (6) Specifications as to the means by which an entity 
        receiving a grant may contribute in-kind services to 
        the start-up costs of any project for which support is 
        sought and the methodology for assigning a cost to that 
        contribution for purposes of subsection (c).
  (c) Funding Limitations.--A grant under this section may not 
be used to support operational costs. The amount of a grant 
under this section may not exceed 65 percent of the estimated 
cost of the expansion, remodeling, alteration, acquisition, or 
procurement provided for under this section.
  (d) Eligible Entities.--The Secretary may make a grant under 
this section to an entity applying for such a grant only if the 
applicant for the grant--
          (1) is a public or nonprofit private entity with the 
        capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to 
        effectively administer a grant under this section;
          (2) has demonstrated that adequate financial support 
        will be available to carry out the project for which 
        the grant has been sought consistent with the plans, 
        specifications, and schedule submitted by the 
        applicant; and
          (3) has agreed to meet the applicable criteria and 
        requirements established under subsections (b) and (g) 
        (and the Secretary has determined that the applicant 
        has demonstrated the capacity to meet those criteria 
        and requirements).
  (e) Application Requirement.--An entity described in 
subsection (d) desiring to receive assistance under this 
section shall submit to the Secretary an application. The 
application shall set forth the following:
          (1) The amount of the grant requested with respect to 
        a project.
          (2) A description of the site for such project.
          (3) Plans, specifications, and the schedule for 
        implementation of such project in accordance with 
        requirements prescribed by the Secretary under 
        subsection (b).
          (4) Reasonable assurance that upon completion of the 
        work for which assistance is sought, the program will 
        become operational and the facilities will be used 
        principally to provide to veterans the services for 
        which the project was designed, and that not more than 
        25 percent of the services provided will serve clients 
        who are not receiving such services as veterans.
  (f) Program Requirements.--The Secretary may not make a grant 
to an applicant under this section unless the applicant, in the 
application for the grant, agrees to each of the following 
requirements:
          (1) To provide the services for which the grant is 
        furnished at locations accessible to homeless veterans.
          (2) To maintain referral networks for, and aid 
        homeless veterans in, establishing eligibility for 
        assistance, and obtaining services, under available 
        entitlement and assistance programs.
          (3) To ensure the confidentiality of records 
        maintained on homeless veterans receiving services 
        under the grant.
          (4) To establish such procedures for fiscal control 
        and fund accounting as may be necessary to ensure 
        proper disbursement and accounting with respect to the 
        grant and to such payments as may be made under section 
        2012 of this title.
          (5) To seek to employ homeless veterans and formerly 
        homeless veterans in positions created for purposes of 
        the grant for which those veterans are qualified.
  (g) Service Center Requirements.--In addition to criteria 
established under subsection (b), the Secretary shall, in the 
case of an application for a grant for a service center for 
homeless veterans, require each of the following:
          (1) That such center provide services to homeless 
        veterans during such hours as the Secretary may specify 
        and be open to such veterans on an as-needed, 
        unscheduled basis.
          (2) That space at such center will be made available, 
        as mutually agreeable, for use by staff of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of 
        Labor, and other appropriate agencies and organizations 
        in assisting homeless veterans served by such center.
          (3) That such center be equipped and staffed to 
        provide, or to assist in providing, health care, mental 
        health services, hygiene facilities, benefits and 
        employment counseling, meals, transportation 
        assistance, and such other services as the Secretary 
        determines necessary.
          (4) That such center may be equipped and staffed to 
        provide, or to assist in providing, job training and 
        job placement services (including job readiness, job 
        counseling, and literacy and skills training), as well 
        as any outreach and case management services that may 
        be necessary to carry out this paragraph.
  (h) Recovery of Unused Grant Funds.--(1) If a grant recipient 
(or entity eligible for such a grant) under this section does 
not establish a program in accordance with this section or 
ceases to furnish services under such a program for which the 
grant was made, the United States shall be entitled to recover 
from such recipient or entity the total of all unused grant 
amounts made under this section to such recipient or entity in 
connection with such program.
  (2) Any amount recovered by the United States under paragraph 
(1) may be obligated by the Secretary without fiscal year 
limitation to carry out provisions of this subchapter.
  (3) An amount may not be recovered under paragraph (1) as an 
unused grant amount before the end of the three-year period 
beginning on the date on which the grant is awarded.

Sec. 2012. Per diem payments

  (a) Per Diem Payments for Furnishing Services to Homeless 
Veterans.--(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations 
provided for such purpose, the Secretary, pursuant to such 
criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide to a 
recipient of a grant under section 2011 of this title (or an 
entity eligible to receive a grant under that section which 
after November 10, 1992, establishes a program that the 
Secretary determines carries out the purposes described in that 
section) per diem payments for services furnished to any 
homeless veteran--
          (A) whom the Secretary has referred to the grant 
        recipient (or entity eligible for such a grant); or
          (B) for whom the Secretary has authorized the 
        provision of services.
  (2) The rate for such per diem payments shall be the rate 
authorized for State homes for domiciliary care under section 
1741(a)(1)(A) of this title.
  (3) In a case in which the Secretary has authorized the 
provision of services, per diem payments under paragraph (1) 
may be paid retroactively for services provided not more than 
three days before the authorization was provided.
  (b) Inspections.--The Secretary may inspect any facility of 
an entity eligible for payments under subsection (a) at such 
times as the Secretary considers necessary. No per diem payment 
may be made to an entity under this section unless the 
facilities of that entity meet such standards as the Secretary 
shall prescribe.
  (c) Life Safety Code.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(2), a per diem payment may not be provided under this section 
to a grant recipient unless the facilities of the grant 
recipient meet the fire and safety requirements applicable 
under the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection 
Association.
  (2) During the five-year period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of this section, paragraph (1) shall not apply to an 
entity that received a grant under section 3 of the Homeless 
Veterans Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 (Public Law 
102-590; 38 U.S.C. 7721 note) before that date if the entity 
meets fire and safety requirements established by the 
Secretary.
  (3) From amounts available for purposes of this section, not 
less than $5,000,000 shall be used only for grants to assist 
entities covered by paragraph (2) in meeting the Life Safety 
Code of the National Fire Protection Association.

Sec. 2013. Authorization of appropriations

  There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
subchapter amounts as follows:
          (1) $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
          (2) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          (3) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
          (4) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.

                 SUBCHAPTER III--TRAINING AND OUTREACH

Sec. 2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs

  (a) In General.--Subject to the availability of 
appropriations provided for under subsection (d) and made 
available for such purpose, the Secretary of Labor shall 
conduct, directly or through grant or contract, such programs 
as the Secretary determines appropriate to provide job 
training, counseling, and placement services to expedite the 
reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.
  (b) Requirement To Monitor Expenditures of Funds.--(1) The 
Secretary of Labor shall collect such information as the 
Secretary considers appropriate to monitor and evaluate the 
distribution and expenditure of funds appropriated to carry out 
this section. The information shall include data with respect 
to the results or outcomes of the services provided to each 
homeless veteran under this section.
  (2) The information under paragraph (1) shall be furnished to 
the Secretary of Labor in such form as the Secretary considers 
appropriate.
  (c) Administration Through the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Veterans' Employment and Training.--The Secretary of Labor 
shall carry out this section through the Assistant Secretary of 
Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training.
  (d) Annual Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Labor shall 
submit to Congress an annual report that evaluates services 
furnished to veterans under this section, and includes an 
analysis of the information collected under subsection (c).
  (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section amounts 
as follows:
          (A) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
          (B) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
          (C) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
          (D) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
          (E) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2006.
  (2) Funds appropriated to carry out this section shall remain 
available until expended. Funds obligated in any fiscal year to 
carry out this section may be expended in that fiscal year and 
the succeeding fiscal year.

Sec. 2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
                    homelessness

  (a) Outreach Plan.--The Secretary, acting through the Under 
Secretary for Health, shall provide for appropriate officials 
of the Mental Health Service and the Readjustment Counseling 
Service of the Veterans Health Administration to initiate a 
coordinated plan for joint outreach to veterans at risk of 
homelessness, including particularly veterans who are being 
discharged from institutions (including discharges from 
inpatient psychiatric care, substance abuse treatment programs, 
and penal institutions).
  (b) Matters To Be Included.--The outreach plan under 
subsection (a) shall include the following:
          (1) Strategies to identify and collaborate with 
        external entities used by veterans who have not 
        traditionally used Department services to further 
        outreach efforts.
          (2) Strategies to ensure that mentoring programs, 
        recovery support groups, and other appropriate support 
        networks are optimally available to veterans.
          (3) Appropriate programs or referrals to family 
        support programs.
          (4) Means to increase access to case management 
        services.
          (5) Plans for making additional employment services 
        accessible to veterans.
          (6) Appropriate referral sources for mental health 
        and substance abuse services.
  (c) Cooperative Relationships.--The plan shall identify 
strategies for the Department to enter into formal cooperative 
relationships with entities outside the Department to 
facilitate making services and resources optimally available to 
veterans.
  (d) Review of Plan.--The Secretary shall submit the plan 
under subsection (a) to the Advisory Committee on Homeless 
Veterans for its review and consultation.
  (e) Outreach Program.--(1) The Secretary shall carry out an 
outreach program to provide information to homeless veterans 
and veterans at risk of homelessness. The program shall include 
at a minimum--
          (A) provision of information about benefits available 
        to eligible veterans from the Department; and
          (B) contact information for local Department 
        facilities, including medical facilities, regional 
        offices, and veterans centers.
  (2) In developing and carrying out the program under 
paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, 
consult with appropriate public and private organizations, 
including the Bureau of Prisons, State social service agencies, 
the Department of Defense, and mental health, veterans, and 
homeless advocates--
          (A) for assistance in identifying and contacting 
        veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
          (B) to coordinate appropriate outreach activities 
        with those organizations; and
          (C) to coordinate services provided to veterans with 
        services provided by those organizations.
  (f) Submission of Report.--Not later than two years after the 
date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives a report on the Secretary's plan under 
subsection (a), including goals and time lines for 
implementation of the plan for particular facilities and 
service networks.

Sec. 2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling 
                    for veterans transitioning from certain 
                    institutions who are at risk for homelessness

  (a) Program Authority.--The Secretary and the Secretary of 
Labor (hereinafter in this section referred to as the 
``Secretaries'') shall carry out a demonstration program for 
the purpose of determining the costs and benefits of providing 
referral and counseling services to eligible veterans with 
respect to benefits and services available to such veterans 
under this title and under State law.
  (b) Location of Demonstration Program.--The demonstration 
program shall be carried out in at least six locations. One 
location shall be a penal institution under the jurisdiction of 
the Bureau of Prisons.
  (c) Scope of Program.--(1) To the extent practicable, the 
demonstration program shall provide both referral and 
counseling, and in the case of counseling, shall include 
counseling with respect to job training and placement, housing, 
health care, and such other benefits to assist the eligible 
veteran in the transition from institutional living.
  (2)(A) To the extent that referral or counseling services are 
provided at a location under the program, referral services 
shall be provided in person during the 60-day period that 
precedes the date of release or discharge of the eligible 
veteran under subsection (f)(1)(B), and counseling services 
shall be furnished after such date.
  (B) The Secretaries may furnish to officials of penal 
institutions outreach information with respect to referral and 
counseling services for presentation to veterans in the custody 
of such officials during the 18-month period that precedes such 
date of release or discharge.
  (3) The Secretaries may enter into contracts to carry out the 
counseling required under the demonstration program with 
entities or organizations that meet such requirements as the 
Secretaries may establish.
  (4) In developing the demonstration program, the Secretaries 
shall consult with officials of the Bureau of Prisons, 
officials of penal institutions of States and political 
subdivisions of States, and such other officials as the 
Secretaries determine appropriate.
  (d) Report.--(1) Not later than two years after the 
commencement of the demonstration program, the Secretary (after 
consultation with the Secretary of Labor) shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives a report on the program.
  (2) The report under paragraph (1) shall include the 
following:
          (A) A description of the implementation and operation 
        of the program.
          (B) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the 
        program.
          (C) Recommendations, if any, regarding an extension 
        of the program.
  (e) Duration.--The authority of the Secretaries to provide 
counseling services under the demonstration program shall cease 
on the date that is four years after the date of the 
commencement of the demonstration program.
  (f) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``eligible veteran'' means a veteran 
        who--
                  (A) is a resident of a penal institution or 
                an institution that provides long-term care for 
                mental illness;
                  (B) is expected to be imminently released or 
                discharged (as the case may be) from the 
                facility or institution; and
                  (C) is at risk for homelessness absent 
                referral and counseling services provided under 
                the program (as determined under guidelines 
                established by the Secretaries).
          (2) The term ``imminent'' means, with respect to a 
        release or discharge under paragraph (1)(B), the 60-day 
        period that ends on the date of such release or 
        discharge.

    SUBCHAPTER [VII] IV--TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION FOR SERIOUSLY 
                   MENTALLY ILL AND HOMELESS VETERANS

[Sec. 1771.] Sec. 2031. General treatment

  (a) In providing care and services under section 1710 of this 
title to veterans suffering from serious mental illness, 
including veterans who are homeless, the Secretary may provide 
(directly or in conjunction with a governmental or other 
entity)--
          (1) outreach services;
          (2) care, treatment, and rehabilitative services 
        (directly or by contract in community-based treatment 
        facilities, including halfway houses); and
          (3) therapeutic transitional housing assistance under 
        section [1772] 2032 of this title, in conjunction with 
        work therapy under subsection (a) or (b) of section 
        1718 of this title and outpatient care.
  (b) The authority of the Secretary under subsection (a) 
expires on December 31, [2001] 2006.

[Sec. 1772.] Sec. 2032. Therapeutic housing

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 1773.] Sec. 2033 Additional services at certain locations

  (a) Subject to the availability of appropriations, the 
Secretary shall operate a program under this section to expand 
and improve the provision of benefits and services by the 
Department to homeless veterans.
  (b) The program shall include the establishment of [not fewer 
than eight programs (in addition to any existing programs 
providing similar services) at] sites under the jurisdiction of 
the Secretary to be centers for the provision of comprehensive 
services to homeless veterans. The services to be provided at 
each site shall include a comprehensive and coordinated array 
of those specialized services which may be provided under 
existing law. The Secretary shall carry out the program under 
this section in sites in at least each of the 20 largest 
metropolitan statistical areas.
  (c) The program shall include the services of such employees 
of the Veterans Benefits Administration as the Secretary 
determines appropriate at sites under the jurisdiction of the 
Secretary at which services are provided to homeless veterans.
  (d) The program under this section shall terminate on 
December 31, [2001] 2006.

[Sec. 1774.] Sec. 2034. Coordination with other agencies and 
                    organizations

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1) The Secretary shall require the director of each 
medical center or the director of each regional benefits office 
to make an annual assessment of the needs of homeless veterans 
living within the area served by the medical center or regional 
office, as the case may be.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (6) The Secretary shall review each annual assessment under 
this subsection and shall consolidate the findings and 
conclusions of those assessments into an annual report to be 
submitted to Congress.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    SUBCHAPTER V--HOUSING ASSISTANCE

[Sec. 3735.] Sec. 2041. Housing assistance for homeless veterans

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in compensated 
                    work therapies

  The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans in the 
compensated work therapy program to be provided housing through 
the therapeutic residence program under section 2032 of title 
or through grant and per diem providers under subchapter II of 
this chapter.

Sec. 2043. Domiciliary care programs

  (a) Authority.--The Secretary may establish up to 10 programs 
under section 1710(b) of this title (in addition to any such 
program that is established as of the date of the enactment of 
this section) to provide domiciliary services under such 
section to homeless veterans.
  (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary $5,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2003 and 2004 to establish the programs referred to in 
subsection (a).

SUBCHAPTER VI--LOAN GUARANTEE FOR MULTIFAMILY TRANSITIONAL HOUSING [FOR 
                           HOMELESS VETERANS]

[Sec. 3772.] Sec. 2051. General authority

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) The Secretary shall enter into contracts with a 
qualified nonprofit organization, or other qualified 
organization, that has experience in underwriting transitional 
housing projects to obtain advice in carrying out this 
subchapter, including advice on the terms and conditions 
necessary for a loan that meets the requirements of section 
[3773] 2052 of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 3773.] Sec. 2052. Requirements

  (a) A loan referred to in section [3772] 2051 of this title 
meets the requirements of this subchapter if each of the 
following requirements is met:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 3774.] Sec. 2053. Default

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 3775.] Sec. 2054. Audit

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    SUBCHAPTER VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

Sec. 2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special needs

  (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall carry out a program 
to make grants to health care facilities of the Department and 
to grant and per diem providers in order to encourage 
development by those facilities and providers of programs 
targeted at meeting special needs within the population of 
homeless veterans.
  (b) Special Needs.--For purposes of this section, homeless 
veterans with special needs include homeless veterans who--
          (1) are women;
          (2) are 50 years of age or older;
          (3) are substance abusers;
          (4) are persons with post-traumatic stress disorder;
          (5) are terminally ill;
          (6) are chronically mentally ill; or
          (7) have care of minor dependents or other family 
        members.
  (c) Funding.--(1) From amounts appropriated to the Department 
for ``Medical Care'' for each of fiscal years 2003, 2004, and 
2005, the amount of $10,000,000 shall be available for the 
purposes of the program under this section.
  (2) The Secretary shall ensure that funds for grants under 
this section are designated for the first three years of 
operation of the program under this section as a special 
purpose program for which funds are not allocated through the 
Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system.

Sec. 2062. Dental care

  (a) In General.--For purposes of section 1712(a)(1)(H) of 
this title, outpatient dental services and treatment of a 
dental condition or disability of a veteran described in 
subsection (b) shall be considered to be medically necessary, 
subject to subsection (c), if--
          (1) the dental services and treatment are necessary 
        for the veteran to successfully gain or regain 
        employment;
          (2) the dental services and treatment are necessary 
        to alleviate pain; or
          (3) the dental services and treatment are necessary 
        for treatment of moderate, severe, or severe and 
        complicated gingival and periodontal pathology.
  (b) Eligible Veterans.--Subsection (a) applies to a veteran 
who is--
          (1) enrolled for care under section 1705(a) of this 
        title; and
          (2) who is receiving care (directly or by contract) 
        in any of the following settings:
                  (A) A domiciliary under section 1710 of this 
                title.
                  (B) A therapeutic residence under section 
                2032 of this title.
                  (C) Community residential care coordinated by 
                the Secretary of Veterans Affairs under section 
                1730 of this title.
                  (D) A setting for which the Secretary 
                provides funds for a grant and per diem 
                provider.
  (c) Limitation.--Dental benefits provided by reason of this 
section shall be a one-time course of dental care provided in 
the same manner as the dental benefits provided to a newly 
discharged veteran.

Sec. 2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based 
                    groups

  (a) Grant Program.--The Secretary shall carry out a program 
to make technical assistance grants to nonprofit community-
based groups with experience in providing assistance to 
homeless veterans in order to assist such groups in applying 
for grants under this chapter and other grants relating to 
addressing problems of homeless veterans.
  (b) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary the amount of $750,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 
through 2005 to carry out the program under this section.

Sec. 2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans

  (a) Annual Report.--Not later than April 15 of each year, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the 
activities of the Department during the calendar year preceding 
the report under programs of the Department under this chapter 
and other programs of the Department for the provision of 
assistance to homeless veterans.
  (b) General Contents of Report.--Each report under subsection 
(a) shall include the following:
          (1) The number of homeless veterans provided 
        assistance under those programs.
          (2) The cost to the Department of providing such 
        assistance under those programs.
          (3) Any other information on those programs and on 
        the provision of such assistance that the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
          (4) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness 
        of the programs of the Department (including 
        residential work-therapy programs, programs combining 
        outreach, community-based residential treatment, and 
        case-management, and contract care programs for alcohol 
        and drug-dependence or use disabilities) in providing 
        assistance to homeless veterans.
          (5) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness 
        of programs established by recipients of grants under 
        section 2011 of this title and a description of the 
        experience of those recipients in applying for and 
        receiving grants from the Secretary of Housing and 
        Urban Development to serve primarily homeless persons 
        who are veterans.
  (c) Health Care Contents of Report.--Each report under 
subsection (a) shall include the following with respect to 
programs of the Department addressing health care needs of 
homeless veterans:
          (1) Information about expenditures, costs, and 
        workload under the program of the Department known as 
        the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program (HCHV).
          (2) Information about the veterans contacted through 
        that program.
          (3) Information about processes under that program.
          (4) Information about program treatment outcomes 
        under that program.
          (5) Information about supported housing programs.
          (6) Information about the Department's grant and per 
        diem provider program under subchapter II of this 
        chapter.
          (7) Other information the Secretary considers 
        relevant in assessing the program.

Sec. 2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans

  (a)(1) There is established in the Department the Advisory 
Committee on Homeless Veterans (hereinafter in this section 
referred to as the ``Committee'').
  (2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 15 members 
appointed by the Secretary from among the following:
          (A) Veterans service organizations.
          (B) Advocates of homeless veterans and other homeless 
        individuals.
          (C) Community-based providers of services to homeless 
        individuals.
          (D) Previously homeless veterans.
          (E) State veterans affairs officials.
          (F) Experts in the treatment of individuals with 
        mental illness.
           Experts in the treatment of substance use disorders.
          (H) Experts in the development of permanent housing 
        alternatives for lower income populations.
          (I) Experts in vocational rehabilitation.
          (J) Such other organizations or groups as the 
        Secretary considers appropriate.
  (3) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members--
          (A) the Secretary of Labor (or a representative of 
        the Secretary selected after consultation with the 
        Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment);
          (B) the Secretary of Defense (or a representative of 
        the Secretary);
          (C) the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or a 
        representative of the Secretary); and
          (D) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
        (or a representative of the Secretary).
  (4) The Secretary shall determine the terms of service and 
pay and allowances of the members of the Committee, except that 
a term of service may not exceed three years. The Secretary may 
reappoint any member for additional terms of service.
  (b)(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with 
and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the 
provision by the Department of benefits and services to 
homeless veterans.
  (2)(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this 
subsection, the Committee shall--
          (i) assemble and review information relating to the 
        needs of homeless veterans;
          (ii) provide an on-going assessment of the 
        effectiveness of the policies, organizational 
        structures, and services of the Department in assisting 
        homeless veterans; and
          (iii) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate 
        means of providing assistance to homeless veterans.
  (3) The Committee shall--
          (A) review the continuum of services provided by the 
        Department directly or by contract in order to define 
        cross-cutting issues and to improve coordination of all 
        services with the Department that are involved in 
        addressing the special needs of homeless veterans;
          (B) identify (through the annual assessments under 
        section 2034 of this title and other available 
        resources) gaps in programs of the Department in 
        serving homeless veterans, including identification of 
        geographic areas with unmet needs, and provide 
        recommendations to address those program gaps;
          (C) identify gaps in existing information systems on 
        homeless veterans, both within and outside of the 
        Department, and provide recommendations about 
        redressing problems in data collection;
          (D) identify barriers under existing laws and 
        policies to effective coordination by the Department 
        with other Federal agencies and with State and local 
        agencies addressing homeless populations;
          (E) identify opportunities for increased liaison by 
        the Department with nongovernmental organizations and 
        individual groups addressing homeless populations;
          (F) with appropriate officials of the Department 
        designated by the Secretary, participate with the 
        Interagency Council on the Homeless under title II of 
        the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 
        11311 et seq.);
          (G) recommend appropriate funding levels for 
        specialized programs for homeless veterans provided or 
        funded by the Department;
          (H) recommend appropriate placement options for 
        veterans who, because of advanced age, frailty, or 
        severe mental illness, may not be appropriate 
        candidates for vocational rehabilitation or independent 
        living; and
          (I) perform such other functions as the Secretary may 
        direct.
  (c)(1) Not later than March 31 of each year, the Committee 
shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and 
activities of the Department that relate to homeless veterans. 
Each such report shall include--
          (A) an assessment of the needs of homeless veterans;
          (B) a review of the programs and activities of the 
        Department designed to meet such needs;
          (C) a review of the activities of the Committee; and
          (D) such recommendations (including recommendations 
        for administrative and legislative action) as the 
        Committee considers appropriate.
  (2) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report 
under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a copy of the report, together with any 
comments and recommendations concerning the report that the 
Secretary considers appropriate.
  (3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other 
reports and recommendations as the Committee considers 
appropriate.
  (4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report 
submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title 
a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee 
submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of 
the Secretary submitted pursuant to that section.
  (d) The Committee shall cease to exist December 31, 2006.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CHAPTER 37--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

                          subchapter i--general

Sec.
3701.    Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                subchapter iii--administrative provisions

     * * * * * * *
[3735.    Housing assistance for homeless veterans.]
     * * * * * * *

[subchapter vi--loan guarantee for multifamily transitional housing for 
                            homeless veterans

[3771.    Definitions.
[3772.    General authority.
[3773.    Requirements.
[3774.    Default.
[3775.    Audit.]
     * * * * * * *

[Sec. 3771. Definitions

  [For purposes of this subchapter:
          [(1) The term ``veteran'' has the meaning given such 
        term by paragraph (2) of section 101.
          [(2) The term ``homeless veteran'' means a veteran 
        who is a homeless individual.
          [(3) The term ``homeless individual'' has the meaning 
        given such term by section 103 of the Stewart B. 
        McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302).]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
                                VETERANS

Sec.
4100.    Findings.
     * * * * * * *
[4111.    Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.]
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 4103A. Disabled veterans' outreach program

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Each disabled veterans' outreach program specialist shall 
carry out the following functions for the purpose of providing 
services to eligible veterans in accordance with the priorities 
set forth in subsection (b) of this section:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (11) Coordination of services provided to veterans 
        with training assistance provided to veterans by 
        entities receiving financial assistance under section 
        2021 of this title.

Sec. 4104. Local veterans' employment representatives

  (a) * * *
  (b) Local veterans' employment representatives shall perform 
the following functions:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (11) When requested by a Federal or State agency, a 
        private employer, or a service-connected disabled 
        veteran, assist such agency, employer, or veteran in 
        identifying and acquiring prosthetic and sensory aids 
        and devices needed to enhance the employability of 
        disabled veterans.
          (12) Facilitate the provision of guidance or 
        counseling services, or both, to veterans who, pursuant 
        to section 5(b)(3) of the Veterans' Job Training Act 
        (29 U.S.C. 1721 note), are certified as eligible for 
        participation under such Act.
          (13) Coordinate services provided to veterans with 
        training assistance for veterans provided by entities 
        receiving financial assistance under section 2021 of 
        this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 4111. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs

  [(a) In General.--The Secretary, acting through the Assistant 
Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, shall 
conduct, directly or through grant or contract, such programs 
as the Secretary determines appropriate to expedite the 
reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.
  [(b) Authority To Monitor Expenditure of Funds.--The 
Secretary may collect such information as the Secretary 
considers appropriate to monitor and evaluate the distribution 
and expenditure of funds appropriated to carry out this 
section, and such information shall be furnished to the 
Secretary in such form as the Secretary determines appropriate.
  [(c) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term 
``homeless veteran'' has the meaning given that term by section 
3771(2) of this title.
  [(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section amounts 
as follows:
          [(A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2000.
          [(B) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2001.
          [(C) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
          [(D) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
  [(2) Funds obligated for any fiscal year to carry out this 
section may be expended in that fiscal year and the succeeding 
fiscal year.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART VI--ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 81--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF HOSPITAL AND DOMICILIARY 
    FACILITIES; PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY; ENHANCED-USE LEASES OF REAL 
PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 8122. Authority to procure and dispose of property and to 
                    negotiate for common services

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Real property under the jurisdiction of the Secretary may 
not be declared excess by the Secretary and disposed of by the 
General Services Administration or any other entity of the 
Federal Government unless the Secretary determines that the 
property is no longer needed by the Department in carrying out 
its functions and is not suitable for use for the provision of 
services to homeless veterans by the Department or by another 
entity under an enhanced-use lease of such property under 
section 8162 of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER V--ENHANCED-USE LEASES OF REAL PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 8162. Enhanced-use leases

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1)(A) If the Secretary has determined that a property 
should be leased to another party through an enhanced-use 
lease, the Secretary shall select the party with whom the lease 
will be entered into using selection procedures determined by 
the Secretary that ensure the integrity of the selection 
process.
  (B) In the case of a property that the Secretary determines 
is appropriate for use as a facility to furnish services to 
homeless veterans under chapter 20 of this title, the Secretary 
may enter into an enhanced-use lease without regard to the 
selection procedures required under subparagraph (A).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


      HOMELESS VETERANS COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS ACT OF 1992



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
[SEC. 3. GRANTS.

  [(a) Authority To Make Grants.--(1) Subject to the 
availability of appropriations provided for under section 12, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make grants to assist 
eligible entities in establishing new programs to furnish, and 
expanding existing programs for furnishing, outreach, 
rehabilitative services, vocational counseling and training, 
and transitional housing assistance to homeless veterans.
  [(2) The authority of the Secretary to make grants under this 
section expires on September 30, 2003.
  [(b) Criteria for Award of Grants.--The Secretary shall 
establish criteria and requirements for the award of a grant 
under this section, including criteria for entities eligible to 
receive such grants. The Secretary shall publish such criteria 
and requirements in the Federal Register not later than 90 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act. In developing such 
criteria and requirements, the Secretary shall consult with 
organizations with experience in the area of providing service 
to homeless veterans and to the maximum extent possible shall 
take into account the findings of the assessment of the 
Secretary under section 107 of the Veterans' Medical Programs 
Amendments of 1992. The criteria established under this section 
shall include the following:
          [(1) Specification as to the kinds of projects for 
        which such grant support is available, which shall 
        include (A) expansion, remodeling, or alteration of 
        existing buildings, or acquisition of facilities, for 
        use as service centers, transitional housing, or other 
        facilities to serve homeless veterans, and (B) 
        procurement of vans for use in outreach to, and 
        transportation for, homeless veterans to carry out the 
        purposes set forth in subsection (a).
          [(2) Specification as to the number of projects for 
        which grant support is available, which shall include 
        provision for no more than 25 service centers.
          [(3) Appropriate criteria for the staffing for the 
        provision of the services for which a grant under this 
        section is furnished.
          [(4) Provisions to ensure that the award of grants 
        under this section (A) shall not result in duplication 
        of ongoing services, and (B) to the maximum extent 
        practicable, shall reflect appropriate geographic 
        dispersion and an appropriate balance between urban and 
        nonurban locations.
          [(5) Provisions to ensure that an entity receiving a 
        grant shall meet fire and safety requirements 
        established by the Secretary, which shall include such 
        State and community requirements that may apply, but 
        fire and safety requirements applicable to buildings of 
        the Federal Government shall not apply to real property 
        to be used by a grantee in carrying out the grant.
          [(6) Specifications as to the means by which an 
        entity receiving a grant may contribute in-kind 
        services to the start-up costs of any project for which 
        support is sought and the methodology for assigning a 
        cost to that contribution for purposes of subsection 
        (c).
  [(c) Funding Limitations.--A grant under this section may not 
be used to support operational costs. The amount of a grant 
under this section may not exceed 65 percent of the estimated 
cost of the expansion, remodeling, alteration, acquisition, or 
procurement provided for under this section.
  [(d) Eligible Entities.--The Secretary may not make a grant 
under this section unless the applicant for the grant--
          [(1) is a public or nonprofit private entity with the 
        capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to 
        effectively administer a grant under this section;
          [(2) has demonstrated that adequate financial support 
        will be available to carry out the project for which 
        the grant has been sought consistent with the plans, 
        specifications, and schedule submitted by the 
        applicant; and
          [(3) has agreed to meet the applicable criteria and 
        requirements established under subsection (b) (and the 
        Secretary has determined that the applicant has 
        demonstrated the capacity to meet those criteria and 
        requirements).
  [(e) Application Requirement.--An entity described in 
subsection (d) desiring to receive assistance under this 
section shall submit to the Secretary an application. The 
application shall set forth--
          [(1) the amount of the grant requested with respect 
        to a project;
          [(2) a description of the site for such project;
          [(3) plans, specifications, and the schedule for 
        implementation of such project in accordance with 
        requirements prescribed by the Secretary under 
        subsection (b); and
          [(4) reasonable assurance that upon completion of the 
        work for which assistance is sought, the program will 
        become operational and the facilities will be used 
        principally to provide to veterans the services for 
        which the project was designed, and that not more than 
        25 percent of the services provided will serve clients 
        who are not receiving such services as veterans.
  [(f) Program Requirements.--The Secretary may not make a 
grant to an applicant under this section unless the applicant, 
in the application for the grant, agrees to each of the 
following requirements:
          [(1) To provide the services for which the grant is 
        furnished at locations accessible to homeless veterans.
          [(2) To maintain referral networks for, and aid 
        homeless veterans in, establishing eligibility for 
        assistance, and obtaining services, under available 
        entitlement and assistance programs.
          [(3) To ensure the confidentiality of records 
        maintained on homeless veterans receiving services 
        under the grant.
          [(4) To establish such procedures for fiscal control 
        and fund accounting as may be necessary to ensure 
        proper disbursement and accounting with respect to the 
        grant and to such payments as may be made under section 
        4.
          [(5) To seek to employ homeless veterans and formerly 
        homeless veterans in positions created for purposes of 
        the grant for which those veterans are qualified.
  [(g) Service Center Requirements.--In addition to criteria 
established under subsection (b), the Secretary shall, in the 
case of an application for a grant for a service center for 
homeless veterans, require that--
          [(1) such center shall provide services to homeless 
        veterans during such hours as the Secretary may specify 
        and shall be open to such veterans on an as-needed, 
        unscheduled basis;
          [(2) space at such center will be made available, as 
        mutually agreeable, for use by staff of the Department 
        of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and other 
        appropriate agencies and organizations in assisting 
        homeless veterans served by such center;
          [(3) such center shall be equipped and staffed to 
        provide, or to assist in providing, health care, mental 
        health services, hygiene facilities, benefits and 
        employment counseling, meals, transportation 
        assistance, and such other services as the Secretary 
        determines necessary; and
          [(4) such center may be equipped and staffed to 
        provide, or to assist in providing, job training and 
        job placement services (including job readiness, job 
        counseling, and literacy and skills training), as well 
        as any outreach and case management services that may 
        be necessary to carry out this paragraph.

[SEC. 4. PER DIEM PAYMENTS.

  [(a) Per Diem Payments for Furnishing Services To Homeless 
Veterans.--Subject to the availability of appropriations 
provided for under section 12, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, pursuant to such criteria as the Secretary shall 
prescribe, shall provide to a recipient of a grant under 
section 3 (or an entity eligible to receive a grant under 
section 3 which after the date of enactment of this Act 
establishes a program which the Secretary determines carries 
out the purposes described in section 3) per diem payments at 
such rates as the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation for 
services furnished to any homeless veteran--
          [(1) whom the Secretary has referred to the grant 
        recipient (or entity eligible for such a grant); or
          [(2) for whom the Secretary has authorized the 
        provision of services.
In a case in which the Secretary has authorized the provision 
of services, per diem payments may be paid retroactively for 
services provided not more than 3 days before the authorization 
was provided.
  [(b) Limitation.--The amount of per diem payments made with 
respect to a veteran under this section may not exceed one-half 
of the cost to the grant recipient (or other eligible entity) 
of providing such service.
  [(c) In-Kind Assistance.--In lieu of per diem payments under 
this section, the Secretary may, with the approval of the grant 
recipient, provide in-kind assistance (through the services of 
Department employees and the use of other Department resources) 
to a grant recipient (or entity eligible for such a grant) 
under section 3.
  [(d) Inspections.--The Secretary may inspect any facility of 
an entity eligible for payments under subsection (a) at such 
times as the Secretary considers necessary. No per diem payment 
may be made to an entity under this section unless the 
facilities of that entity meet such standards as the Secretary 
shall prescribe.]

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[SEC. 12. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  [There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
Act (other than section 8) $48,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
1993 through 1997 and $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2000 
and 2001. Nothing in the Act shall be construed to diminish 
funds for, continuation of, or expansion of existing programs 
administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to serve 
veterans.]

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    SECTION 1001 OF THE VETERANS' BENEFITS IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 1994

[SEC. 1001. REPORTS ON ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                    TO ASSIST HOMELESS VETERANS.

  [(a) Annual Report.--(1) Not later than April 15 of each 
year, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the activities of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs during the year preceding the report under 
programs of the Department for the provision of assistance to 
homeless veterans.
  [(2) The report shall--
          [(A) set forth the number of homeless veterans 
        provided assistance under those programs;
          [(B) describe the cost to the Department of providing 
        such assistance under those programs;
          [(C) provide any other information on those programs 
        and on the provision of such assistance that the 
        Secretary considers appropriate; and
          [(D) evaluate the effectiveness of the programs of 
        the Department (including residential work-therapy 
        programs, programs combining outreach, community-based 
        residential treatment, and case-management, and 
        contract care programs for alcohol and drug-dependence 
        or abuse disabilities) in providing assistance to 
        homeless veterans; and
          [(E) evaluate the effectiveness of programs 
        established by recipients of grants under section 3 of 
        the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service Programs 
        Act of 1992 (38 U.S.C. 7721 note), and describe the 
        experience of such recipients in applying for and 
        receiving grants from the Secretary of Housing and 
        Urban Development to serve primarily homeless persons 
        who are veterans.
  [(c) Conforming Repeal.--Section 10 of Public Law 102-590 
(106 Stat. 5141; 37 U.S.C. 7721 note) is repealed.]
                              ----------                              


                 MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT



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TITLE II--INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS

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SEC. 202. MEMBERSHIP.

  (a) * * *

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  [(c) Meetings.--The Council shall meet at the call of its 
Chairperson or a majority of its members. The first meeting of 
the Council shall be held not later than 30 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.]
  (c) Meetings.--The Council shall meet at the call of its 
Chairperson or a majority of its members, but not less often 
than annually.

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TITLE VII--EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle C--Job Training for the Homeless

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[SEC. 738. HOMELESS VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROJECTS.

  [(a) General Authority.--The Secretary, using funds 
appropriated and made available for the purpose of carrying out 
this section, shall conduct, directly or through grant or 
contract, such programs as the Secretary determines appropriate 
to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the 
labor force. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
amount so appropriated shall be available for distribution in 
such manner as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
Employment and Training considers appropriate and shall remain 
available until expended.
  [(b) Authority to Monitor the Expenditure of Funds.--The 
Secretary is authorized to obtain such information as the 
Secretary considers appropriate to enable the Secretary to 
monitor and evaluate the distribution and expenditure of funds 
appropriated pursuant to the authorization contained in 
subsection (a). Such information shall be furnished to the 
Secretary in such form as the Secretary considers appropriate 
for the purpose of this subsection.
  [(c) Administration Through the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Veterans' Employment and Training.--The Secretary shall 
administer the program provided for by this section through the 
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
Training.
  [(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term 
``homeless veteran'' means a homeless individual who is a 
veteran within the meaning of section 101(2) of title 38, 
United States Code.
  [(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section the 
following amounts:
          [(A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1993.
          [(B) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 1994.
          [(C) $14,000,000 for fiscal year 1995.
          [(D) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1996.
          [(E) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1997.
          [(F) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1998.
          [(G) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1999.
  [(2) Funds obligated for any fiscal year to carry out this 
section may be expended in that fiscal year and the succeeding 
fiscal year.]

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                              ----------                              


           SECTION 8 OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSING ACT OF 1937

                    lower income housing assistance

  Sec. 8. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (o) Voucher Program.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (19) Rental vouchers for veterans affairs supported 
        housing program.--
                  (A) Set aside.--Subject to subparagraph (C), 
                the Secretary shall set aside, from amounts 
                made available for rental assistance under this 
                subsection, the amounts specified in 
                subparagraph (B) for use only for providing 
                such assistance through a supported housing 
                program administered in conjunction with the 
                Department of Veterans Affairs. Such program 
                shall provide rental assistance on behalf of 
                homeless veterans who have chronic mental 
                illnesses or chronic substance use disorders, 
                shall require agreement of the veteran to 
                continued treatment for such mental illness or 
                substance use disorder as a condition of 
                receipt of such rental assistance, and shall 
                ensure such treatment and appropriate case 
                management for each veteran receiving such 
                rental assistance.
                  (B) Amount.--The amount specified in this 
                subparagraph is--
                          (i) for fiscal year 2003, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 500 vouchers for 
                        rental assistance under this 
                        subsection;
                          (ii) for fiscal year 2004, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 1,000 vouchers for 
                        rental assistance under this 
                        subsection;
                          (iii) for fiscal year 2005, the 
                        amount necessary to provide 1,500 
                        vouchers for rental assistance under 
                        this subsection; and
                          (iv) for fiscal year 2006, the amount 
                        necessary to provide 2,000 vouchers for 
                        rental assistance under this 
                        subsection.
                  (C) Funding through incremental assistance.--
                In any fiscal year, to the extent that this 
                paragraph requires the Secretary to set aside 
                rental assistance amounts for use under this 
                paragraph in an amount that exceeds that set 
                aside in the preceding fiscal year, such 
                requirement shall be effective only to such 
                extent or in such amounts as are or have been 
                provided in appropriation Acts for such fiscal 
                year for incremental rental assistance under 
                this subsection.

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