On the heels of legislation aimed to make higher education more affordable for veterans, State Representative James Arciero is back with additional efforts to help those who have served in America’s armed forces.
Recently Arciero (D-Westford) testified before the Joint Committee on Veteran and Federal Affairs in support of House Bill 3547: An Act Relative To Exempting Veteran Income For Housing.
The bill, which Arciero filed earlier in the legislative session, would address a provision of Massachusetts housing law that has precluded some disabled veterans from being eligible for public housing programs due to income limits.
“It is simply unacceptable that service-connected disabled veterans should not have access to our public housing based on an income limit,” said Arciero to the Committee. “I believe we need to lower the income threshold for these most worthy Americans and I hope that this bill will start that important conversation.”
Support for the bill has also come from the Massachusetts Association of Veteran Service Offices, the Massachusetts Marine Corps League, the Disabled Veterans of America, the American Legion, and local government agencies supporting veterans, such as the Westford Veterans’ Services Department.
“Our current housing laws give preference to veterans and their families, but then sets limits to household financial assets by including their disability compensation,” said Westford Veterans Services Officer Terry Stader, a petitioner on the legislation. “It is contradictory to the intent of preferential consideration for the veteran. Passing this bill would give a veteran at least a chance at the limited affordable housing resources instead of automatically excluding them.”
Full text of the bill is available on the Massachusetts General Court website.