(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray applauded the passage of H.R. 2646, the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011. This bipartisan legislation will allow for new construction projects in five states and Puerto Rico and will allow VA programs to operate uninterrupted, including vital assistance to homeless veterans. The bill also includes approval for upgrades at the VA Medical Center in Seattle.
“VA has worked tirelessly to get veterans off the streets and into housing. Their efforts are commendable, but there is still work to be done,” said Senator Murray. “H.R. 2646, as amended, contains critical extensions to many of VA’s programs to end homelessness among veterans. Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed much in their service to this country, we must make sure they receive the care and benefits they earned.”
“I’m also delighted that this bill would allow VA to begin a $51.8 million project to seismically strengthen the nursing tower and community living center at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System in Seattle, Washington. It is vital that this building be upgraded so that the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System can continue to deliver world-class healthcare to veterans in a safe environment.”Specifically, the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011 will:
- Allow for seismic corrections for Building 100 at the VA Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, in an amount not to exceed $51.8 million;
- Authorize job-creating infrastructure improvements to VA’s facilities;
- Authorize increased funding for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which provides prevention and rapid rehousing assistance for homeless veterans;
- Authorize increased funding for the Grant and Per Diem program, which provides transitional housing assistance for homeless veterans;
- Reauthorize the special needs set aside in the Grant and Per Diem program which provides transitional housing for the frail, elderly, terminally ill, women, and those with children; and
- Reauthorize the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, which provides employment assistance for homeless veterans.