Bill helps American Indian veterans get housing

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) October 2010

Congress has passed legislation that would allow more disabled American Indian veterans and their families to get housing assistance.

The legislation cleared the Senate this week and is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House measure sponsored by Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick was approved earlier this year.

Assistance for American Indian veterans was limited to families making less than 80 percent of the median income of their area. Compensation for veterans with service-related disabilities or for families of those killed in service also was treated as income.

The bill excludes disability and survivor compensation, which Kirkpatrick says pushed many over the allowable limits.

Kirkpatrick sought the changes at the request of the Navajo Housing Authority.