In a continued effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced $43 million to 325 local public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to provide a permanent home to more than 5,200 veterans experiencing homelessness. The supportive housing assistance 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.
A component of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, the HUD-VASH vouchers being awarded enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market. These vouchers are critical tools in helping communities effectively end homelessness among veterans.
Locally, both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties are in line for some funding. The Housing Authority of San Joaquin, with partner organization Palo Alto, received 25 vouches for a total of $143,091.
The Housing Authority of Stanislaus County, with three separate partners, received vouchers. Partnering with Fresno, three vouchers worth $15,617 were awarded; 10 vouchers were presented in cooperation with the Northern California Health Care System, totaling $52,057; and, partnering with Palo Alto, 20 vouchers totaling $104,114 were awarded.
“Our nation’s veterans deserve more than a life on the streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “There is no greater responsibility than to end veteran homelessness and to make certain that those who have served our nation have a home they can call their own.”
More than 87,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 144,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program since 2008. More than 500 PHAs administer the HUD-VASH program, and this most recent award includes 102 additional PHAs, increasing HUD-VASH coverage to many communities. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among the 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.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.