United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 29, 2023
Legal services for homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness
Subject to the availability of appropriations provided for such purpose, the Secretary shall award grants to eligible entities that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness.
The Secretary shall—
establish criteria and requirements for grants under this section, including criteria for entities eligible to receive such grants; and
publish such criteria and requirements in the Federal Register.
In establishing criteria and requirements under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
take into consideration any criteria and requirements needed with respect to carrying out this section in rural communities, on trust lands, and in the territories and possessions of the United States; and
consult with organizations that have experience in providing services to homeless veterans, including—
veterans service organizations;
the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Veterans Legal Corps; and
such other organizations as the Secretary determines appropriate.
The Secretary may award a grant under this section to an entity applying for such a grant only if the applicant for the grant—
is a public or nonprofit private entity with the capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to effectively administer a grant under this section;
demonstrates that adequate financial support will be available to carry out the services for which the grant is sought consistent with the application;
agrees to meet the applicable criteria and requirements established under subsection (b)(1); and
has, as determined by the Secretary, demonstrated the capacity to meet such criteria and requirements.
Grants under this section shall be used to provide homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness the following legal services:
Legal services relating to housing, including eviction defense, representation in landlord-tenant cases, and representation in foreclosure cases.
Legal services relating to family law, including assistance in court proceedings for child support, divorce, estate planning, and family reconciliation.
Legal services relating to income support, including assistance in obtaining public benefits.
Legal services relating to criminal defense, including defense in matters symptomatic of homelessness, such as outstanding warrants, fines, and driver’s license revocation, to reduce recidivism and facilitate the overcoming of reentry obstacles in employment or housing.
Legal services relating to requests to upgrade the characterization of a discharge or dismissal of a former member of the Armed Forces under section 1553 of title 10.
Such other legal services as the Secretary determines appropriate.
For any fiscal year, not less than 10 percent of the amount authorized to be appropriated for grants under this section shall be used to provide legal services described in subsection (d) to women veterans.
To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall award grants under this section to eligible entities in a manner that is equitably distributed across the geographic regions of the United States, including with respect to—
trust lands (as defined in section 3765 of this title);
Native Americans; and
tribal organizations (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)).
Not less frequently than once every two years, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on grants awarded under this section.
To the extent feasible, each report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following with respect to the period covered by the report:
The number of homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness assisted.
A description of the legal services provided.
A description of the legal matters addressed.
An analysis by the Secretary with respect to the operational effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the services provided.
(Added Pub. L. 116–315, title IV, § 4202(a),
Jan. 5, 2021, 134 Stat. 5011.)
cite as: 38 USC 2022A