WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 10, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health on his Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans Act (H.R. 2065).
“After visiting some of the shelters in my home district in West Virginia and around the country, I was struck by how many were not in compliance with state, local or federal building codes,” said Rep. McKinley. “We learned that there are no VA requirements that homeless shelters prove they meet code in order to receiving federal funding. There is only a loosely defined policy that is not universally being followed.”
“This common sense legislation would ensure the well being of veterans who have fallen on hard times and are in the most need of assistance,” added McKinley. “As a licensed professional engineer, it was unsettling to learn about shelter fires where lives have been lost. We read stories of a homeless shelter fire where occupants were killed because there was no sprinkler system at the facility and another where homeless veterans were injured because a sprinkler system was not working properly and the fire exits were blocked. These types of tragedies could have been avoided.”
“This bill will ensure our homeless veterans have access to safe shelters,” said McKinley. “These men and women were put in harm’s way defending our liberty; they should not be in doubt about their own safety now that they are home again. Ensuring veterans have a safe place to stay should not be an undue burden.”
The Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans Act passed the House with broad bipartisan support in 2012. Other groups that back the legislation include the International Code Council, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the American Legion.