Comments Sought for Specially Adapted Housing Program

Comments Sought for Specially Adapted Housing Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to implement through regulation statutory authority to provide grants for the development of new assistive technologies for use in specially adapted housing for eligible veterans or servicemembers.

Specially Adapted Program

The VA is seeking comment before implemented rules changes that would allow new assistive technologies to be developed for its specially adapted housing program.

Legislation enacted in 2010 authorized the VA to provide grants of up to $200,000 per fiscal year to persons or entities to encourage the development of specially adapted housing assistive technologies. VA is amending its regulations to outline the process, the criteria, and the priorities relating to the award of these research and development grants. These amendments would be published and codified in the Federal Register.

The proposed changes are undergoing a comment period, and veterans, family members and veteran advocates and representatives have an opportunity to be heard on this important matter.

Currently, VA’s regulations only provide the Secretary authority to award Federal grants to institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations. The Act, however, does not place limits on the entities or persons who may apply for the SAH grant program and instead indicates that Congress anticipated both non-profit and commercial organizations would participate. So it can fully implement the Act, VA needs to amend its regulations to authorize the Secretary to award SAH new assistive technologies grants to both nonprofit and commercial organizations.

The VA was authorized for the grant program by the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, enacted on October 13, 2010.

The comment period ends November 7, 2014.

You can view the grant program summary on the Federal Register’s website here, and submit a formal comment through that page.

Those who would prefer to submit written statements may do so here (by mail or hand-delivered):
Director, Regulation Policy and Management (02REG)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave NW
Room 1068
Washington, DC 20420

Or written statements may be faxed to 202-273-9026.

Any comments should indicate they are submitted in response to RIN-2900-AO70-Loan Guaranty—Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program.

If you’re a disabled veteran who uses the Specially Adapted Housing Program, or are the family member of a disabled veteran who may be in need of the program, you should review the proposed rule by the VA and weigh in as appropriate.

Make your voice heard!