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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2013   >   HUDNo.13-127

 


HUD:  Brian Sullivan (202)708-0685
VA:    Victoria Dillon (202) 461-7983
HUD No. 13-127

FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
August 21, 2013
 
 

HUD & VA ANNOUNCE MORE VOUCHERS TO HELP
HOMELESS VETS GET INTO PERMANENT HOMES 

HUD-VASH vouchers to build on 17 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2009

WASHINGTON – The U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the second round of HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) funding to local public housing agencies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.  The $7.8 million will provide housing and clinical services for 1,120 currently homeless veterans.  In May of this year, the two agencies announced $60 million in HUD-VASH vouchers.  See state/local distribution of the assistance announced today.

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. Since 2008, a total of 58,140 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH. 

“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed and given up so much for our freedom,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “These vouchers are helping America end veterans’ homelessness one veteran at a time until we see not one veteran living on the street.  I look forward to continue working with Secretary Shinseki and the Department of Veterans Affairs to target assistance to our homeless veterans.  ” 

"These HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our effort to provide these brave men and women with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “So long as a single Veteran lives on our streets, we have work to do.  But with the continued support of President Obama, Congress and our community partners, we will end homelessness among Veterans.”

HUD-VASH is a critical 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 communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009.  On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veterans were homeless.

The grants announced today are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of homeless veterans.  Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers (VAMC) offer supportive services and case management.  This is the second round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding.  HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this year. 

VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing.  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.

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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. This year, VA will provide over $1 billion in specialized homeless program funding, 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.