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HUD, VA giving $43 million to find homes for homeless veterans

Ben Lane | HousingWire

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs continued their effort to end homelessness among military veterans this week by committing $43 million to find permanent homes for homeless veterans.

HUD and the VA will provide the money to 325 local public housing agencies across the country to provide a permanent home to more than 5,200 homeless veterans.

The money will be provided via the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the VA.

HUD-VASH vouchers, which are a part of the Housing Choice Voucher program, enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable housing in the private market.

“Our nation’s veterans deserve more than a life on the streets,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “There is no greater responsibility than to end veteran homeless and to make certain that those who have served our nation have a home they can call their own.”

According to HUD, more than 87,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 144,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program since 2008.

Currently, more than 500 PHAs administer the HUD-VASH program. This new award includes 102 additional PHAs, increasing HUD-VASH coverage to many communities.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers evaluate homeless veterans and then refer them to local housing agencies for these vouchers.

According to HUD, the decisions are based on a number of factors, including 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.

According to HUD, veterans who participate in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30% of their income toward rent.

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