New HUD and VA Initiative to House Nearly 10,000 Homeless U.S. Vets
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki have announced that HUD will provide $72.6 million to public housing agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to supply permanent housing and case management for more than 10,000 homeless veterans. The permanent supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), a program administered by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing with case management and other supportive services for homeless veterans across the country. “It’s a national disgrace that one out of every six men and women in our shelters once wore a uniform to serve our country,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “But we know that by providing housing assistance and case management services, we can significantly reduce the number of veterans living on our streets. Working together, HUD, VA and local housing agencies are making real progress toward ending veteran homelessness once and for all.” This funding to local housing agencies is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 2015. "Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness" serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local agreements to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2011 found that veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent (or 8,834 people) since January 2010. “Under the leadership of President Obama, we have made significant progress in the fight to end homelessness among veterans, but more work remains,” said VA Secretary Shinseki. “The partnership between the federal government and community agencies across the country has strengthened all of our efforts to honor our veterans and keep us on track to prevent and eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015.” The grants are part of $75 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2012 to support the housing needs of homeless veterans. VA Medical Centers (VAMC) provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans. This is the first of two rounds of the 2012 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce the remaining funding by the end of this summer. VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately-owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.