Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act, which would provide an $8000 refundable tax credit for specially adaptive housing modifications, and an $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit for all eligible veterans. The bipartisan legislation — introduced in the House by Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Paul Cook (R-CA) — addresses the delay in disability benefits many veterans are confronted with upon returning to civilian life. The bill would ameliorate the process of purchasing a home and modifying it to accommodate for disabilities.
“Our veterans wait far too long to receive disability benefits that can improve their lives when they return from the military,” Senator Casey said. “This bill makes it easier for our disabled veterans, who have served with distinction, to perform the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes so they are able to move around comfortably and live independently. It is no substitute for the disability benefits owed through the VA, but the bill is a tangible step toward easing our veterans’ transition.”
Delays in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits adversely affect veterans in Pennsylvania and across the nation. In the Pittsburgh regional office, the average wait for veterans filing their first claim is 185 days. The wait is 136 days in Philadelphia office. To help counter this widespread problem, the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act would be immediately available to all eligible veterans (those who were not discharged dishonorably. The bill provides crucial help to veterans looking to purchase a home as they move back to our communities.
Senator Casey has long demonstrated commitment to improving our veterans’ quality of life. Earlier this year, he and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), Chairs of the VA Backlog Working Group, introduced the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act. The bill, which would create reforms at the VA to eliminate the disability claims backlog and improve the claims process, cleared the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
In the 113th Congress, the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act was endorsed byVetsFirst, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and The Association of the United States Navy. Similar support is expected in this Congress.