Hunt Joins House Colleagues in Approving MA Vets Housing and Employment Bill

Randy HuntSANDWICH – State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich) joined his House colleagues last week to approve legislation to enhance housing and employment opportunities for Massachusetts veterans.

The bill-titled the HOME Act-calls for the creation of a new Office for State Veterans’ Homes and Housing within the Department of Veterans’ Services.

In addition to giving veterans preference in state-assisted public housing units, the bill also makes veterans a protected class for hiring purposes.

“The HOME Act makes a few adjustments to Massachusetts’ housing and employment policies that should make our programs more effective for and supportive of our veterans,” said Hunt. “This bill also allows our municipalities, the form of government most attuned to the needs of our communities, to establish a fund to provide assistance to veterans within their neighborhoods.”

The proposed Office will also be responsible for making recommendations to address veterans’ housing needs across the Commonwealth.

Although veterans currently are given preference in public housing, preference generally applies to housing units within the community in which the veteran resides.

The HOME Act includes a provision that gives veterans statewide preference for public housing.

The bill also prohibits housing authorities from counting as income any veterans benefits for service-connected disabilities in excess of $1,800 when calculating rent.

The HOME Act also contains provisions to assist veterans with securing employment.

Under current law, recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross can be appointed to civil service positions without having to take an exam.

The HOME Act now moves to the Senate for further action.


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