Funding part of Obama Administration plan to end Veteran homelessness
WASHINGTON, DC – June 14, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — 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 $5.4 million to public housing authorities in 18 states to supply permanent housing and case management for 676 homeless Veterans in America. This is the fourth and final round of the FY 2010 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) funding to support homeless Veterans.
HUD-VASH is a coordinated effort by HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and local housing authorities to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless Veterans. For a local breakdown of the rental vouchers announced today, visit HUD’s website.
“Our mission is to end Veterans’ homelessness,” said VA Secretary Shinseki. “This effort is an excellent example of how VA works with HUD and our community partners in that shared mission. The project-based vouchers will provide dedicated permanent housing for Veterans and allow them to live in support of each other, as neighbors.”
“As our young men and women return from Afghanistan and Iraq, they deserve to be treated with dignity and honor. Yet our nation’s Veterans are 50 percent more likely than the average American to become homeless,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “These vouchers continue to get more of our Veterans off the streets and out of homeless shelters into permanent housing.”
The vouchers announced today are part of a set-aside of project-based vouchers HUD announced last September that would be competitively awarded to housing authorities that received HUD-VASH vouchers in 2008, 2009 or 2010. Under HUD’s project-based voucher program, housing authorities can assign voucher assistance to specific housing units. These vouchers will enable homeless Veterans to access affordable housing with an array of supportive services.
This funding to local housing authorities is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy 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 a $75 million investment to support the housing needs of homeless Veterans. This is the fourth and final competitive round to allocate the remaining FY2010 HUD-VASH funding. With today’s announcement, HUD will have funded 10,186 housing vouchers for homeless Veterans nationwide for 2010. HUD will announce the 2011 HUD-VASH funding during the summer. VA Medical Centers provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless Veterans.
Veterans are referred to the public housing authority for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the need for and ability to benefit from supportive housing. Supportive housing includes both financial help 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.
VA is the federal government’s second-largest cabinet office. Secretary Shinseki has outlined three key priorities for the department: increase Veteran access to VA services and benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end Veteran homelessness. VA provides health care to more than 6 million people each year, in 91 million outpatient visits and 960,000 hospitalizations. VA provides more than $58 billion annually in disability pay and pensions to 4.5 million Americans, $10 billion in educational assistance, $1 billion for home loans and $2.6 billion for life insurance. More information about VA is available at www.va.gov.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.