The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $7 million to 24 local public housing agencies across the country to help nearly 1,000 homeless Veterans find permanent housing. The supportive housing assistance announced today 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.
Later this year, HUD anticipates awarding approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers to build upon significant progress toward ending Veteran homelessness. Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly homeless Veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH. Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation's Veterans.
"We have made great progress, reducing homelessness among Veterans by 24 percent in just three years," said HUD SecretaryJulián Castro. "These vouchers will help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to reach those in need. Ending homelessness is a top priority for me, and HUD looks forward to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that every Veteran has a place to call home in the country they risked everything to protect."
"VA, HUD and our federal, state and local partners should take pride in the progress made to reduce Veterans' homelessness by 24 percent since 2010, but so long as there remains a Veteran that lives on our streets, we have more work to do," said Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Interim Under Secretary for Health. "These HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our effort to provide our Veterans with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives."
HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration's commitment to end Veteran 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 communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women.
As the former mayor of San Antonio, Secretary Castro was among the growing ranks of more than 180 mayors who joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015 by using federal, local, and nonprofit resources. Since 2010, the Obama Administration has reduced veteran homelessness by 24 percent. And while ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 is within reach, continued use of tools like HUD-VASH are central to reaching that goal.
In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) work closely with homeless veterans before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the 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 and Puerto Rico.