Funding part of Obama Administration plan to end Veteran homelessness
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $46.2 million to public housing agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to supply permanent housing and case management for 6,790 homeless Veterans in America.
This funding, from HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless Veterans. Read a complete local breakdown of the rental vouchers announced today.
"Over the past three years, HUD helped thousands of homeless Veterans find a permanent place to call home while VA provided medical treatment, case management and other services to address their specific needs," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "We have no greater mission than to prevent and end homelessness, especially for those brave men and women who risked their lives to protect our nation."
"This initiative will strengthen our ongoing efforts to eliminate Veteran homelessness by 2015 and improve quality of life for Veterans," said VA Secretary Shinseki. "Working with our partners at HUD and in Congress, we continue to make good progress to reduce Veteran homelessness though much work remains. VA is committed to providing Veterans and their families with access to affordable housing and medical services that will help them get back on their feet."
"This is a great step forward in our effort to get veterans off the streets and into permanent housing," said Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "Growing up during the Vietnam War, I saw a generation of soldiers left behind because they weren't given the support they needed during their transition home, and I have worked to ensure that veterans today don't face a similar fate. These vouchers will provide critical support to thousands of Veterans whose needs went unmet for too long, so that they will finally get the services they need and a permanent place to call home. HUD-VASH vouchers are a key reason why we are making real progress toward goals to finally end Veterans homelessness."
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.
The grants announced today are part of $50 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2011 to support the housing needs of 6,900 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 2011 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce the remaining funding by the end of this summer.
Homeless Veterans are referred to the public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the need for and willingness to participate in case management.
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.