Disability rights groups push support for veteran homebuyers accessibility bill

veteran, US flag, wheelchair
Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act

A group of disability advocates have come out in support of the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act, a recently introduced bill that aims to make it easier for veterans with disabilities to live in accessible homes.

“Accessible housing is often the most serious impediment facing individuals with disabilities who want to work and live independently,” the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the nation’s largest coalition of disability rights advocates, said in a news release [PDF]. “We appreciate your recognition of this fact and your efforts to address this need with HR 3975.”

Under the bill, which was also introduced in the previous Congressional session, veterans would be able to purchase a $8,0000 refundable tax credit to purchase adaptive housing improvements for their homes.

Individuals would also be able to purchase the tax credit on a veteran’s behalf, further expanding the program’s availability.

“Our veterans wait far too long to receive disability benefits that can improve their lives when they return from the military,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said in a news release introducing the bill November 10. “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.”

Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Paul Cook (R-CA) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

The letter is signed by 11 disability rights groups from the CCD’s Veterans and Military Families and Housing Task Forces, including the National Disability Rights Network, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and VetsFirst.

Disability Rights Washington, the publisher of Rooted in Rights, is the designated protection and advocacy agency in Washington, and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.