HUD and VA to provide permanent housing to an estimated 10,000 homeless veteransMortgagePress.comHUD, VA, housing, James B. Peake, Roy A. Bernardi, veterans U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi have announced a $75 million plan to provide permanent supportive housing for an estimated 10,000 homeless veterans nationwide. Bernardi and Peake made the announcement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a newly renovated housing program for homeless veterans in Queens and emphasized the federal and local government's partnership to house and support America's homeless veteran population. New York City will receive approximately $9.4 million dollars to permanently house more than 1,000 homeless veterans while the Greater Los Angeles area will be allocated approximately $7.5 million to assist an estimated 840 homeless veterans. Click here to see chart. "We are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice by our nation's veterans and we must make every effort to help them as they struggle to avoid a life on the streets," said Bernardi. "This program is one opportunity to say, thank you and to make certain that we serve them as they once served us." "Today, VA and HUD are strengthening our long-standing partnership on homelessness to achieve a simple vision--that no one who has served and fought for their country should have to live on the streets," said Peake. "We hope to build upon this effort soon with another step providing more case managers to support a marked increase in permanent housing units." "Ending veteran homelessness is an ambitious goal that is more in reach thanks to this historic federal commitment to provide housing for veterans," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our partnership with the VA has already provided homes for hundreds of veterans over the past year and the housing slots being allocated to New York City today will bring new hope to more than 1,000 homeless veterans in our City. It sends a powerful message to the men and women currently fighting for our country overseas - that we do not take their service for granted." HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) will provide local public housing agencies with approximately 10,000 rental assistance vouchers specifically targeted to assist homeless veterans in their area. In addition, VA and HUD will link local public housing agencies with VA Medical Centers to provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans. HUD will allocate the housing vouchers to local public housing agencies across the country that are specifically targeted to homeless veterans based on a variety of factors, including the number of reported homeless veterans and the proximity of a local VA Medical Center with the capacity to provide case management. New York City and the greater Los Angeles area received the greatest number of vouchers using these criteria. HUD will provide housing assistance through its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program which allows participants to rent privately owned housing. The VA will offer eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S and Puerto Rico. Last year, VA provided healthcare to more than 100,000 homeless veterans and other services to over 60,000 veterans in its specialized homeless programs. The Bush Administration's proposed FY 2009 Budget seeks to double the amount of funding announced today to provide an additional $75 million to support the housing and service needs of an additional 10,000 homeless veterans across America. Local communities or "Continuums of Care" that receive HUD homeless assistance will work with local VA Medical Centers to identify eligible participants. The VA will then screen homeless veterans to determine their eligibility. Those eligible vets will receive treatment and regular case management to retain the voucher. VA Medical Center case managers will also work closely with local housing agencies to help participants find suitable housing. Participating local housing agencies will also determine income eligibility in accordance to HUD regulations for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. For more information, visit www.hud.gov or www.va.gov.
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