The U.S. Department of Housing &Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced a second round funding to help provide permanent homes to an estimated 122 veterans experiencing homelessness in eight states. The rental assistance announced is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. This year marks the 50th anniversary of HUD and Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans.
“Today is another important step in honoring the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces,” said Castro. “HUD and its local partners are determined to give every veteran the opportunity to secure a safe and stable place to call home.”
“The Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and our federal and local partners should be proud of the gains made reducing veteran homelessness," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, “but so long as there remains a veteran living on our streets, we have more work to do. The vouchers made available today are a vital tool to making sure veterans across the country have a home.”
In April, HUD awarded $65 million to help more than 9,300 homeless veterans find a home. That funding ensured that communities could provide the critically needed housing assistance and case management services to those veterans and their families experiencing homelessness.
In 2010, President Obama and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. 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 communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. To support communities as they progress towards the goal of ending veteran homelessness, USICH has identified strategies that increase collaboration and coordination among programs serving veterans experiencing homelessness.
Since 2008, more than 79,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 90,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation's Veterans.
In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.
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, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.