If the HAVEN Act becomes law, nonprofit organizations could receive funding to help veterans repair, rehabilitate or modify their homes. This would include many veterans still struggling to recover from the devastation left behind by Superstorm Sandy. Photo by Amy C. Elliott

Legion urges passing of HAVEN Act

 The American Legion is strongly encouraging Congress to pass the HAVEN Act, a bill that would amend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to authorize funding to nonprofit organizations that can help veterans repair, rehabilitate and modify their homes. S. 3614 is set for a vote in the Senate this afternoon; a companion bill was approved by the House of Representatives in September. The act is supported by The American Legion through Resolution 21, passed during the Fall National Executive Committee Meetings in October.

“The American Legion supports the HAVEN Act because it would allow the public and private sectors to collaborate to assist veterans with housing services that are currently not fully met,” said Mark Walker, deputy director of the Legion’s Economic Division. “It’s imperative that Congress make the bill law before the current lame-duck session of Congress ends.”

If the HAVEN Act becomes law, it would amend the NDAA - Congress’ annual act that specifies the budget for DoD - to include funding for nonprofit organizations that help veterans maintain their homes. Specifically, the measure would create a Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot program to give grants to nonprofit organizations - like Habitat For Humanity and Rebuilding Together - to rehabilitate and modify homes of low-income veterans and veterans with disabilities.

Under the bill, the nonprofit organizations that receive funding would be encouraged to collaborate with veterans organizations like The American Legion to locate veterans and provide them the assistance they need with their homes.

The housing pilot program also would help augment existing programs like VA’s Specially Adaptive Housing program and housing assistance programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nonprofit organizations could pool their resources with these federal housing-assistance programs and affect a larger population of veterans who need assistance with their homes.

With much of the Eastern Seaboard still cleaning up after Superstorm Sandy, the need for housing assistance is dire. The HAVEN Act, if passed, would be a significant help to veterans whose homes were either lost or damaged by the storm.

“The pilot program becomes an important template for meeting future needs of the veteran community,” Walker said. “Our government can’t do it all. It could use the help of nonprofit organizations with a proven track record of helping veterans.”


  1. In my previous comments dated (above) "January 4, 2013" (at 12;40 pm) I had wished to bring to our veterans' attention (but did not at that time), that U.S. Mid-western, southwestern, and eastern states experienced record breaking triple digit temperatures in 2012 (the hottest year authenticated to date by National Weather Service meteorologists), resulting in oppressive heat and firestorms; that were not only devastating to the environment, but such extreme heat was responsible for many fatalities (particularly amongst elderly people with respiratory ailments and emasculated immune systems) and that many Americans see this as being linked to "global warming" and/or "climate change." Renowned biologist and ecologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich Ph.D of Stanford University (located in Stanford, and Palo Alto, California) used the words "climate disruption" and is supportive of the argument amongst the consensus of scientists studying climatology; that this phenomenon is Man-induced (caused by the polluting, heat-trapping emissions of "greenhouse gases" and/or "fossil fuels" e.g. carbon dioxide and methane), and associated with over development of industrialization and urbanization. Scientists (climatologists and other Earth scientists), claim that rising sea levels, receding coast lines, and melting polar ice caps are all evidence of "climate change" happening right now before our eyes. However, only trained personnel in Earth sciences can detect, study, and record this phenomenon not discernible to the untrained eye, and non academic investigator. In other words most layman lack the academic expertise to give supportive evidence to this argument supporting global warming as fact as scientists do and now contend. On the opposite end of the "spectrum" regarding "Nature's wrath", severe blizzards and hale storms continue to pose havoc to people, and development in the U.S.. Record breaking temperature lows of 23 degrees Fahrenheit were experienced in the Greater Los Angeles area, and other frigid temperatures plagued cities not normally accustomed to experiencing such sudden temperature readings and declines, in the southwest and West, but had indeed occurred in the past few days. Congress and our government need a greater, heightened awareness of life threatening changes in Earth's atmosphere and environment, and when Nature is drastic to life, there is more than ever, great need to be more supportive of the necessity of the "HAVEN Act" and its purpose to render aid as soon as possible to our needy veterans affected by ALL life and property threatening natural disasters.
  2. There are many valid reasons for Congress to pass "The HAVEN Act[]." Natural disasters are increasing throughout the world in frequency, diversity, magnitude, intensity, and simultaneous occurrences. "Super storm [Hurricane] Sandy" is historically and scientifically, one of many devastating natural disasters to affect regional areas of the U.S.. In this case the northeast states and New England. New Jersey and New York were particularly ravished by storm surge, strong winds, and urban, and suburban flooding! Our veterans affected by such fury from "Nature's wrath" are in dire need of such emergency aid to repair and rebuild (as applicable) their homes, themselves, and their dependent's lives. Hurricanes are not the only natural disasters that humanity must confront and contend with. Nature has a vast arsenal at her disposal that has proven time and again how powerful and diverse her forces indeed are; e.g. earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, electrical and/or lightning storms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, cyclones, monsoons, avalanches, mud slides, "sink holes", floods, flash floods, fires, droughts, and heat waves to name those disasters experienced by victims; if they're indeed, fortunate enough to survive this onslaught. "The HAVEN Act[]" if passed by Congress will certainly be of tremendous help, and provide much needed relief for our veterans affected by these disasters at not a moment too soon.
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