A bill designed to help veterans recently was unanimously passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives and it includes language from Westford’s state representative.
House Bill 4278, better known as the Massachusetts Housing, Operations, Military Service and Enrichment (HOME) Act, seeks to institute a centralized system addressing housing needs of veterans in Massachusetts.
Currently, disability income was included in determining whether disabled veterans were eligible for public housing assistance.
If the bill becomes law, all disability income over $1,800 would not be included in public housing determinations for 100% disabled veterans who became disabled during their military service thanks to language introduced by State Representative James Arciero (D-Westford).
“It is simply unacceptable that service-connected disabled veterans should not have access to our public housing based on an income limit,” said Arciero. “I believe we needed to lower the income threshold for these most worthy Americans.”
The general current income threshold to qualify for public housing assistance in the Greater Lowell area is $31,750.
Other provisions of the bill address an expansion of tax exemptions for veterans, public service scholarship programs, and the creation of the Office of State Veterans’ Homes and Housing to provide housing services for veterans and bring greater oversight and assistance to the veterans living in the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.
Arciero has been active in other pieces of legislation designed to help veterans gain greater access to higher education
A full copy of the legislation is available at the Massachusetts state legislature’s website.