Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today applauded Senate passage of the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010. Johnson cosponsored the bill to help Native American veterans receiving disability compensation and survivor benefits from becoming ineligible for housing benefits under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).
“It was not the intent of NAHASDA to disqualify these vets. This legislation ensures that Native American veterans are no longer denied housing assistance because of their disability compensation and survivor benefits,” said Johnson. “As a member of the Indian Affairs Committee, I will continue working to see that all of our veterans receive the resources they deserve.”
Currently, NAHASDA treats veterans’ survivor and disability benefits as income, which has the potential to put many families outside the income eligibility for benefits under the program. The Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010 amends NAHASDA to exclude income amounts received for service-related disabilities and survivor benefits.
In 1996, Johnson was an original co-sponsor of the initial NAHASDA bill as a member of the House of Representatives, and he worked to reauthorize the bill in 2002. The legislation includes important grant and loan funding programs like the Indian Housing Block Grant program, which provide opportunities for tribes to expand affordable housing in Indian Country.