WASHINGTON – The House today passed a bipartisan bill that includes Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s provision to ensure blinded veterans receive housing accommodations they need to live independently.
Congresswoman Luria’s amendment to H.R. 3504, the Ryan Kules Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act, would expand the pool of veterans eligible to receive VA-administered Specialty Adapted Housing (SAH) grants to include blinded veterans. These grants fund important housing renovations such as ramps, handrails, grab bars, and sliding doors.
H.R. 3504 is sponsored by Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and incorporates Congresswoman Luria’s amendment.
“Blinded veterans served heroically and sacrificed for our nation. They deserve equal access to opportunities for growth and independence, and I am honored to champion their cause,” Congresswoman Elaine Luria said. “Many of these brave men and women need these adjustments to their homes now. Our blinded veterans shouldn’t have to wait any longer.”
A 20-year Navy veteran, Congresswoman Luria is an active advocate for blinded veterans. Earlier this year, she met with a group of blinded veterans to learn about their unique struggles and immediately pledged to work on their behalf.
Currently, only blinded veterans who have lost the use of one or both legs are eligible for VA-administered SAH grants. As a result, VA turns away blinded veterans who need assistance for the sole reason that they can use their legs.
Congresswoman Luria’s amendment – which unanimously cleared committee earlier this month – would correct this by changing the criteria for SAH grant eligibility to ensure that blinded veterans get the housing adaptations they need.