Homeless Veterans Coronavirus Response Act of 2020
This bill addresses the administration of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits for homeless veterans during the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) public health emergency.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the bill authorizes the VA to
- reallocate specified grant funds to provide homeless veterans and veterans participating in the Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program with transportation, assistance required for safety and survival, and communications equipment and services;
- collaborate with organizations to manage use of VA land for homeless veterans for living and sleeping;
- provide a maximum rate, in certain situations, for per diem payments that is three times the rate authorized for state homes for domiciliary care;
- provide amounts for additional transitional housing beds to facilitate access to housing and services provided to homeless veterans; and
- waive certain inspection and safety code requirements to allow grant recipients and therapeutic housing facilities to make adjustments (e.g., facilitating social distancing or isolation needs).
Per diem payments may be used to provide assistance required for safety and survival (e.g., food) for homeless veterans and formerly homeless veterans residing in a facility operated by a grant recipient or entity that receives per diem payments for furnishing services to homeless veterans.
Finally, the bill requires the VA to ensure that veterans participating in or receiving services under a program for homeless veterans have access to telehealth services. The VA must ensure telehealth capabilities are available to such veterans, VA case managers, and community-based service providers.