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HUD No.15-043
Shantae Goodloe
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Monday
April 20, 2015
 


HUD AND VA TO HELP MORE THAN 9,000 HOMELESS VETERANS FIND PERMANENT HOMES
HUD-VASH vouchers to build on national effort to end veteran homelessness

WASHINGTON - In the ongoing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced nearly $65 million to help more than 9,300 homeless veterans find a permanent place to call home. The rental 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.

HUD-VASH works in reducing veteran homelessness because it provides funding for both the housing and supportive services that are essential for ending homelessness for tens of thousands of veterans nationwide. See the local impact of the housing assistance announced today.

Today in Seattle, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the funding with Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10), Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-8), and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray at a residence that houses recipients of HUD-VASH vouchers. With HUD celebrating its 50th anniversary, Secretary Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans. As the former mayor of San Antonio, Secretary Castro was among the growing ranks of more than 432 mayors who joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015 by using federal, local, and nonprofit resources.

HUD-VASH is an important part of the Obama Administration's efforts to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness. This effort also includes HUD's Homeless Assistance Programs, as well as VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and Grant and Per Diem (GPD) programs.

"Our nation has a sacred responsibility to support the brave men and women who served with honor, courage and distinction," said Secretary Castro. "These vouchers will help thousands of veterans start a new chapter in their lives and build for the future. We look forward to partnering with communities to ensure that every veteran can secure this opportunity and have a place to call home."

"The Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and our federal and local partners should be proud of the gains made reducing veteran homelessness," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, "but so long as there remains a veteran living on our streets, we have more work to do. The vouchers made available today are a vital tool to making sure veterans across the country have a home."

"Ending homelessness among veterans is not a federal goal, it's a national one," said Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "This timely deployment of HUD-VASH vouchers is one of the many important ways that the administration is supporting communities to achieve this national goal."

Since 2008, more than 69,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 88,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation's Veterans.

Additionally, 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. To support communities as they progress towards the goal of ending veteran homelessness, USICH has identified strategies that increase collaboration and coordination among programs serving veterans experiencing homelessness.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly 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.

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, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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