Bill S1702-2013

Relates to veterans' eligibility for public housing

Relates to veterans' eligibility for public housing; expands eligibility requirements to include veterans of the recent conflicts; requires granting of a preference for public housing to veterans or families of veterans who have a military service connected disability.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1702

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public housing law, in relation to veterans' eligibility for public housing

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The legislation amends the eligibility provisions of the public housing law to expand eligibility to veterans, and their surviving spouses, who served or are serving in United States Armed Forces from September 14, 2001 to December 31, 2014. The legislation also requires public housing authorities to grant preference to eligible veterans or families of veterans who have a military service related disability.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subparagraph 1 of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 156 of the public housing law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2006, by expanding the eligibility requirements to veterans who served in the armed forces of the United States for a period of at least six months between the fourteenth day of September 2011 and the thirty-first day of December 2014.

Section 2 of the bill amends Section 156 of the public housing law by adding a new subdivision 8 that will require public housing authorities to grant a preference in the selection of tenants to veterans or families of veterans who have a military service connected disability provided that such veterans or families of veterans otherwise qualify for occupancy in such an authority's projects and provided that the authority has complied with the provisions of section 960.206 of title 24 of the code of federal regulations relating to such preferences.

Section 3 provides for this act to take effect on the 120 day after it becomes law.

JUSTIFICATION: Under current public housing law, veterans who served during the period covered by the Viet Nam War (19611975) are afforded specific eligibility into public housing projects at income levels slightly higher than the income levels set for the general public. This legislation will extend those eligibility provisions to veterans who have served or are serving in the armed forces from September 14, 2001 through December 31, 2014 reflecting the period from the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks through December 31, 2014 which will hopefully coincide with the time that all United States armed forces are no longer engaged in active combat duties.

This bill will also mandate that an admission preference be given to veterans or families of veterans who have a military service connected disability provided they are otherwise eligible for admission as tenants to a public housing project. Currently, public housing authorities are authorized under federal law to implement various admission preferences including an admission preference for

veterans and veterans' families. However, many public housing authorities, including the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), have chosen not include such preferences in their agency plans that must be submitted to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for approval.{1}

Given the incredible sacrifice, which is made by our military personnel serving during a time of war, and which was made during prior military conflicts, it seems more than appropriate that we mandate and extend these specific eligibility provisions and preferences to veterans and their families.

Men and women of the United States military have made, and continue to willingly make, incredible personal sacrifices on behalf of this country in terms of their own personal safety, the emotional and financial well being of their families and their long-term futures. During the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, many active military personnel are currently serving their fourth, fifth and even sixth tour of duty within the past several years. They face prolonged periods away from their families and deal with daily anxiety about their families' ability to cope with their absence on a financial as well as personal level. Many soldiers serving are reservists who were pulled from their families and established careers and must worry daily about their family's financial stability and their own future.

Extension of the veterans' eligibility and preference provisions for public housing will not take these soldiers out of harm's way, or alleviate the suffering of those who served in prior conflicts, but it will help to ease their concerns for their families' financial futures. And just maybe this little bit of solace will help them endure the difficulties that they face every day in their efforts to protect us.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12, S.5867

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND VOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred and twentieth day after it shall have become a law.

FOOTNOTE {1} However, NYCHA, for example, has recently established preferences for victims of domestic violence and other categories including "substandard housing, homelessness, high mat burden, working families and those unable to work because of age or disability and residents who live and/or work in the jurisdiction" among others in its PHA Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2011. (See http://home2.nyc.gov/html/nycha/html/ahout/agencvplan.shiml)


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1702 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the public housing law, in relation to veterans' eligi- bility for public housing THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 156 of the public housing law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (1) have served in the armed forces of the United States for a period of at least six months (or any shorter period which terminated due to death or injury incurred in such service), provided some portion of the period of service was between the twenty-eighth day of February, nine- teen hundred sixty-one to the seventh day of May, nineteen hundred seventy-five, OR BETWEEN THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, TWO THOUSAND ONE TO THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, and S 2. Section 156 of the public housing law is amended by adding a new subdivision 8 to read as follows: 8. AN AUTHORITY SHALL GRANT A PREFERENCE IN THE SELECTION OF TENANTS TO VETERANS OR FAMILIES OF VETERANS WHO HAVE A MILITARY SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY PROVIDED THAT SUCH VETERANS OR FAMILIES OF VETERANS OTHERWISE QUALIFY FOR OCCUPANCY IN SUCH AN AUTHORITY'S PROJECTS AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT SUCH AUTHORITY HAS COMPLIED WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 960.206 OF TITLE 24 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS RELATING TO SUCH PREFERENCES. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.

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