38 USC 2041: Housing assistance for homeless veterans
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38 USC 2041: Housing assistance for homeless veterans Text contains those laws in effect on June 17, 2024
From Title 38-VETERANS' BENEFITSPART II-GENERAL BENEFITSCHAPTER 20-BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANSSUBCHAPTER V-HOUSING ASSISTANCE

§2041. Housing assistance for homeless veterans

(a)(1) To assist homeless veterans and their families in acquiring shelter or permanent housing, the Secretary may enter into agreements described in paragraph (2) with-

(A) nonprofit organizations, with preference being given to any organization that is the recipient of a grant under section 2011, 2013, 2044, or 2061 of this title; or

(B) any State or tribal entity, or any political subdivision thereof.


(2) To carry out paragraph (1), the Secretary may enter into agreements to sell, lease, lease with an option to purchase, or donate real property, and improvements thereon, acquired by the Secretary as the result of a default on a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under this chapter. Such sale or lease or donation shall be for such consideration as the Secretary determines is in the best interests of homeless veterans and the Federal Government.

(3) The Secretary may enter into an agreement under paragraph (1) of this subsection only if-

(A) the Secretary determines that such an action will not adversely affect the ability of the Department-

(i) to fulfill its statutory missions with respect to the Department loan guaranty program and the short- and long-term solvency of the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund established under section 3722 of this title; or

(ii) to carry out other functions and administer other programs authorized by law;


(B) the entity to which the property is sold, leased, or donated agrees to-

(i)(I) utilize the property solely as a shelter or permanent housing primarily for homeless veterans and their families; or

(II) sell or rent the property directly to homeless veterans or veterans at risk of homelessness;

(ii) comply with all zoning laws relating to the property;

(iii) make no use of the property that is not compatible with the area where the property is located; and

(iv) take such other actions as the Secretary determines are necessary or appropriate in the best interests of homeless veterans and the Federal Government; and


(C) the Secretary determines that there is no significant likelihood of the property being sold for a price sufficient to reduce the liability of the Department or the veteran who defaulted on the loan.


(4) The term of any lease under this subsection may not exceed three years.

(5) An approved entity that leases a property from the Secretary under this section shall be responsible for the payment of any taxes, utilities, liability insurance, and other maintenance charges or similar charges that apply to the property.

(6) Any agreement, deed, or other instrument executed by the Secretary under this subsection shall be on such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate and necessary to carry out the purpose of such agreement.

(b)(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary may make loans to organizations described in paragraph (1)(A) of subsection (a) to finance the purchase of property by such organizations under such subsection.

(2) In making a loan under this subsection, the Secretary-

(A) shall establish credit standards to be used for this purpose;

(B) may, pursuant to section 3733(a)(6) of this title, provide that the loan will bear interest at a rate below the rate that prevails for similar loans in the market in which the loan is made; and

(C) may waive the collection of a fee under section 3729 of this title in any case in which the Secretary determines that such a waiver would be appropriate.


(c) The Secretary may not enter into agreements under subsection (a) after September 30, 2026.

(Added Pub. L. 102–54, §9(a), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 272 , §1835; renumbered §3735, Pub. L. 102–83, §5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 406 ; amended Pub. L. 102–590, §§8, 9, Nov. 10, 1992, 106 Stat. 5140 ; Pub. L. 103–446, title XII, §1201(d)(13), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4684 ; Pub. L. 104–110, title I, §101(h), Feb. 13, 1996, 110 Stat. 768 ; Pub. L. 105–114, title II, §203(a), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2288 ; Pub. L. 105–368, title VI, §602(e)(1)(G), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3347 ; Pub. L. 106–117, title IX, §902, Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1587 ; renumbered §2041, Pub. L. 107–95, §5(c), Dec. 21, 2001, 115 Stat. 918 ; Pub. L. 108–170, title IV, §404, Dec. 6, 2003, 117 Stat. 2063 ; Pub. L. 109–444, §8(a)(5), Dec. 21, 2006, 120 Stat. 3313 ; Pub. L. 109–461, title VII, §705, title X, §§1004(a)(5), 1006(b), Dec. 22, 2006, 120 Stat. 3440 , 3465, 3468; Pub. L. 112–37, §10(e), Oct. 5, 2011, 125 Stat. 397 ; Pub. L. 112–191, title II, §205, Oct. 5, 2012, 126 Stat. 1439 ; Pub. L. 113–59, §10, Dec. 20, 2013, 127 Stat. 662 ; Pub. L. 113–175, title II, §205, Sept. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 1904 ; Pub. L. 114–58, title III, §303, Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 534 ; Pub. L. 114–228, title III, §304, Sept. 29, 2016, 130 Stat. 939 ; Pub. L. 117–328, div. U, title III, §304, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5470 .)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2022-Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(a)(1)(A), inserted "or permanent housing" after "shelter" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(a)(1)(B), substituted "that is the recipient of a grant under section 2011, 2013, 2044, or 2061 of this title" for "named in, or approved by the Secretary under, section 5902 of this title".

Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(a)(1)(C), inserted "or tribal entity," after "State".

Subsec. (a)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(a)(2)(A), designated existing provisions as subcl. (I), inserted "or permanent housing" after "shelter", substituted "; or" for comma at end, and added subcl. (II).

Subsec. (a)(3)(B)(ii), (iii). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(a)(2)(B), substituted semicolons for commas.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 117–328, §304(b), substituted "September 30, 2026" for "September 30, 2017".

2016-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–228 substituted "September 30, 2017" for "September 30, 2016".

2015-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–58 substituted "September 30, 2016" for "September 30, 2015".

2014-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–175 substituted "September 30, 2015" for "December 31, 2014".

2013-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–59 substituted "December 31, 2014" for "December 31, 2013".

2012-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–191 substituted "December 31, 2013" for "December 31, 2012".

2011-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–37 substituted "December 31, 2012" for "December 31, 2011".

2006-Subsec. (a)(3)(A)(i). Pub. L. 109–461, §1006(b), provided that as of the enactment of Pub. L. 109–461, the amendments made by Pub. L. 109–444 were deemed for all purposes not to have taken effect and that Pub. L. 109–444 ceased to be in effect. See Amendment notes below and section 1006(b) of Pub. L. 109–461, set out as a Coordination of Provisions With Pub. L. 109–444 note under section 101 of this title.

Pub. L. 109–461, §1004(a)(5), substituted "established under section 3722 of this title" for "under this chapter".

Pub. L. 109–444, which substituted "established under section 3722 of this title" for "under this chapter", was terminated by Pub. L. 109–461, §1006(b). See Amendment notes above.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–461, §705, substituted "December 31, 2011" for "December 31, 2008".

2003-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–170 substituted "December 31, 2008" for "December 31, 2003".

2001-Pub. L. 107–95 renumbered section 3735 of this title as this section.

1999-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106–117 substituted "December 31, 2003" for "December 31, 1999".

1998-Subsec. (a)(3)(A)(i). Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund" for "Loan Guaranty Revolving Fund and the Guaranty and Indemnity Fund".

1997-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–114 substituted "December 31, 1999" for "December 31, 1997".

1996-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–110 substituted "December 31, 1997" for "December 31, 1995".

1994-Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103–446 substituted "section 5902" for "section 3402".

1992-Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 102–590, §8(a)(1), inserted ", lease, lease with an option to purchase, or donate" after "sell" and "or lease or donation" after "sale".

Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 102–590, §8(a)(2), inserted ", leased, or donated" after "sold" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(4) to (6). Pub. L. 102–590, §8(a)(3), (4), added pars. (4) and (5) and redesignated former par. (4) as (6).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–590, §9(a)(2), added subsec. (b). Former subsec. (b) redesignated (c).

Pub. L. 102–590, §8(b), substituted "December 31, 1995" for "September 30, 1993".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–590, §9(a)(1), redesignated subsec. (b) as (c).

1991-Pub. L. 102–83 renumbered section 1835 of this title as this section.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective Oct. 1, 1998, see section 602(f) of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 2106 of this title.

Support for Aging Veterans at Risk of or Experiencing Homelessness

Pub. L. 117–328, div. U, title I, §164, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5431 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall work with public housing authorities and local organizations to assist aging homeless veterans in accessing existing housing and supportive services, including health services like home-based and community-based services from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from non-Department providers in the community.

"(b) Payment for Services.-The Secretary may, and is encouraged to, pay for services for aging homeless veterans described in subsection (a)."

Department of Veterans Affairs Sharing of Information Relating to Coordinated Entry Processes for Housing and Services Operated Under Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care Program

Pub. L. 117–328, div. U, title III, §307, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5472 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-The Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall-

"(1) provide to staff of medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs and homelessness service providers of the Department the information described in subsection (b); and

"(2) ensure that such information, and other resources the Under Secretary determines are appropriate, are accessible to such staff and providers.

"(b) Information Described.-The information described in this subsection is information related to best practices with respect to the collaboration between medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs, homelessness service providers of the Department, and local partners (including local offices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development or public housing agencies, and private and public local community organizations) on the centralized or coordinated assessment systems established and operated by Continuums of Care under section 578.7(a)(8) of title 24, Code of Federal Regulations, including making referrals and sharing data, as the Under Secretary determines appropriate."

System for Sharing and Reporting Data

Pub. L. 117–328, div. U, title III, §309, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5473 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall work together to develop a system for effectively sharing and reporting data between the community-wide homeless management information system described in section 402(f)(3) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11360a(f)(3)) and the Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"(b) Deadline.-The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall ensure that the system developed under subsection (a) is operational not later than three years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 29, 2022]."

Availability of Telehealth for Case Managers and Homeless Veterans

Pub. L. 116–136, div. B, title X, §20011, Mar. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 589 , provided that: "The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that telehealth capabilities are available during a public health emergency for case managers of, and homeless veterans participating in, the Department of Housing and Urban Development–Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (commonly referred to as 'HUD–VASH')."

[For definition of "public health emergency" as used in section 20011 of Pub. L. 116–136, set out above, see section 20003 of Pub. L. 116–136, set out as a note under section 303 of this title.]

Collaboration in Provision of Case Management Services to Homeless Veterans in Supported Housing Program

Pub. L. 112–154, title III, §304, Aug. 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 1185 , as amended by Pub. L. 116–315, title IV, §4207(a), Jan. 5, 2021, 134 Stat. 5015 ; Pub. L. 117–328, div. U, title III, §306, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5472 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consider entering into contracts or agreements, under sections 513 and 8153 of title 38, United States Code, with eligible entities to collaborate with the Secretary in the provision of case management services to covered veterans as part of the supported housing program carried out under section 8(o)(19) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)) to ensure that the homeless veterans facing the most significant difficulties in obtaining suitable housing receive the assistance they require to obtain such housing.

"(2)(A) The director of each covered medical center shall seek to enter into one or more contracts or agreements described in paragraph (1).

"(B) Any contract or agreement under subparagraph (A) may require that each case manager employed by an eligible entity who performs services under the contract or agreement has credentials equivalent to the credentials required for a case manager of the Department.

"(C)(i) The Secretary may waive the requirement under subparagraph (A) with respect to a covered medical center if the Secretary determines that fulfilling such requirement is infeasible.

"(ii) If the Secretary grants a waiver under clause (i), the Secretary shall, not later than 90 days after granting such waiver, submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report containing-

"(I) an explanation of the determination made under clause (i);

"(II) a plan to increase the number of case managers of the Department; and

"(III) a plan for the covered medical center to increase use of housing vouchers allocated to that medical center under the program described in paragraph (1).

"(D) In this paragraph, the term 'covered medical center' means a medical center of the Department with respect to which the Secretary determines that-

"(i) more than 15 percent of all housing vouchers allocated to that medical center under the program described in paragraph (1) during the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which such determination was made were unused due to a lack of case management services provided by the Secretary; and

"(ii) one or more case manager positions have been vacant for at least nine consecutive months immediately preceding the date of such determination.

"(b) Covered Veterans.-For purposes of this section, a covered veteran is any veteran who, at the time of receipt of a housing voucher under such section 8(o)(19)-

"(1) requires the assistance of a case manager in obtaining suitable housing with such voucher; and

"(2) is having difficulty obtaining the amount of such assistance the veteran requires.

"(c) Eligible Entities.-For purposes of this section, an eligible entity is any State or local government agency, tribal organization (as such term is defined in section 4 of the Indian Self[-]Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b) [now 25 U.S.C. 5304]), or nonprofit organization that-

"(1) under a contract or agreement described in subsection (a), agrees-

"(A) to ensure access to case management services by covered veterans on an as-needed basis;

"(B) to maintain referral networks for covered veterans for purposes of assisting covered veterans in demonstrating eligibility for assistance and additional services under entitlement and assistance programs available for covered veterans, and to otherwise aid covered veterans in obtaining such assistance and services;

"(C) to ensure the confidentiality of records maintained by the entity on covered veterans receiving services through the supported housing program described in subsection (a);

"(D) to establish such procedures for fiscal control and fund accounting as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate to ensure proper disbursement and accounting of funds under a contract or agreement entered into by the entity as described in subsection (a);

"(E) to submit to the Secretary each year, in such form and such manner as the Secretary may require, a report on the collaboration undertaken by the entity under a contract or agreement described in such subsection during the most recent fiscal year, including a description of, for the year covered by the report-

"(i) the services and assistance provided to covered veterans as part of such collaboration;

"(ii) the process by which covered veterans were referred to the entity for such services and assistance;

"(iii) the specific goals jointly set by the entity and the Secretary for the provision of such services and assistance and whether the entity achieved such goals; and

"(iv) the average length of time taken by a covered veteran who received such services and assistance to successfully obtain suitable housing and the average retention rate of such a veteran in such housing; and

"(F) to meet such other requirements as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of providing assistance to covered veterans in obtaining suitable housing; and

"(2) has demonstrated experience in-

"(A) identifying and serving homeless veterans, especially those who have the greatest difficulty obtaining suitable housing;

"(B) providing case management services to veterans for obtaining suitable housing at varying locations nationwide or in the area or areas similar to where the services will be provided under the relevant contract or agreement;

"(C) working collaboratively with the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

"(D) conducting outreach to, and maintaining relationships with, landlords to encourage and facilitate participation by landlords in supported housing programs similar to the supported housing program described in subsection (a);

"(E) mediating disputes between landlords and veterans receiving assistance under such supported housing program; and

"(F) carrying out such other activities as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate.

"(d) Consultation.-In considering entering into contracts or agreements as described in subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consult with-

"(1) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and

"(2) third parties that provide services as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development continuum of care.

"(e) Technical Assistance for Collaborating Entities.-

"(1) In general.-The Secretary may provide training and technical assistance to entities with whom the Secretary collaborates in the provision of case management services to veterans as part of the supported housing program described in subsection (a).

"(2) Grants.-The Secretary may provide training and technical assistance under paragraph (1) through the award of grants or contracts to appropriate public and nonprofit private entities.

"(3) Funding.-From amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary in the Medical Services account in a year, $500,000 shall be available to the Secretary in that year to carry out this subsection.

"(f) Annual Report.-

"(1) In general.-Not later than 545 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 6, 2012] and not less frequently than once each year thereafter, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on the collaboration between the Secretary and eligible entities in the provision of case management services as described in subsection (a) during the most recently completed fiscal year.

"(2) Elements.-Each report required by paragraph (1) shall include, for the period covered by the report, the following:

"(A) A discussion of each case in which a contract or agreement described in subsection (a) was considered by the Secretary, including a description of whether or not and why the Secretary chose or did not choose to enter into such contract or agreement.

"(B) The number and types of eligible entities with whom the Secretary has entered into a contract or agreement as described in subsection (a).

"(C) A description of the geographic regions in which such entities provide case management services as described in such subsection.

"(D) A description of the number and types of covered veterans who received case management services from such entities under such contracts or agreements.

"(E) An assessment of the performance of each eligible entity with whom the Secretary entered into a contract or agreement as described in subsection (a).

"(F) An assessment of the benefits to covered veterans of such contracts and agreements.

"(G) A discussion of the benefits of increasing the ratio of case managers to recipients of vouchers under the supported housing program described in such subsection to veterans who reside in rural areas.

"(H) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate for the improvement of collaboration in the provision of case management services under such supported housing program."

[Pub. L. 117–328, §306, which directed amendment of section "304(c)(2)(A)" of Pub. L. 112–154, set out above, by adding subpar. (B) and redesignating former subpars. (B) to (E) as (C) to (F), respectively, was executed to section 304(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–154, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.]

[ Pub. L. 116–315, title IV, §4207(b), Jan. 5, 2021, 134 Stat. 5015 , provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending section 304 of Pub. L. 112–154, set out above] shall take effect on the first day of the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 5, 2021]."]

Ratification of Actions During Period of Expired Authority

Any action taken by Secretary of Veterans Affairs before Feb. 13, 1996, under provision of law amended by title I of Pub. L. 104–110 that was taken during period beginning on date on which authority of Secretary under such provision of law expired and ending on Feb. 13, 1996, considered to have same force and effect as if such amendment had been in effect at time of that action, see section 103 of Pub. L. 104–110, set out as a note under section 1710 of this title.