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Lee Jones
(206) 220-5356 (work)
(804) 363-7018 (cell)
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
May 29, 2013

HUD & VA PROVIDING 540 MORE HOMELESS VETS IN IDAHO, OREGON & WASHINGTON STATE WITH RENTAL VOUCHERS
Today's awards will mean 3,238 homeless veterans in Idaho, Oregon & Washington will have place to call home

SEATTLE - Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride announced today that HUD will provide an additional 540 HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD VASH) rental vouchers to provide homeless veterans in Idaho, Oregon and Washington state with a permanent, affordable place to call home.

The 540 vouchers - backed by $2,926,600 in annual HUD rent supports - awarded today are over and above the 2,698 VASH vouchers awarded in Idaho, Oregon and Washington in prior funding rounds and part of a HUD-VA announcement today awarding a total of 8,635 HUD VASH vouchers nationwide. Previously HUD has awarded 165 VASH vouchers in Idaho, 928 in Oregon and 1,605 in Washington.

"Our veterans have answered the call of duty. That's why our nation has its own duty - to help homeless servicemen and women rejoin the very communities they have given so much to protect," said Donovan. "These grants make it possible to help more veterans obtain housing, bringing us steps closer to our goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015."

"These HUD-VASH vouchers are a critical resource to accomplish our shared goal of ending Veterans' homelessness in 2015," Shinseki said. "With the continued support of President Obama, Congress, and our community partners, we will end homelessness among Veterans and provide these brave men and women with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives."

"When our soldiers and sailors come marching home, we should make sure they have one instead of being forced to live on the streets," said McBride. "HUD VASH vouchers provide exactly that."

Housing authorities in Idaho, Oregon and Washington awarded VASH vouchers today include:
 

IDAHO
Pocatello - Pocatello HA VA Salt Lake City Health Care System , Pocatello Community-Based Outreach Clinic 15 $76,452
Boise - Boise City HA Boise VA Medical Center 25 $118,371
  IDAHO Total 40 $194,823
OREGON
Portland - Home Forward Portland VA Medical Center 55 $349,483
Roseburg- Douglas County HA VA Roseburg Health Care System 20 $49,397
Eugene - HACSA of Lane Cty VA Roseburg Health Care System , Eugene Community-Based Outreach Clinic 25 $111,210
Medford - Jackson Cty HA Southern Oregon -White City VA Rehab Center and Clinics 45 $194,443
Klamath Falls - Klamath HA Southern Oregon -White City VA Rehab Center and Clinics 15 $69,766
Albany - Linn-Benton HA VA Roseburg Health Care System 15 $66,015
Hillsboro - Washington Cty HA Portland VA Medical Center , Hillsboro Community-Based Outreach Clinic 35 $203,897
Grants Pass- Josephine Cty HA Southern Oregon -White City VA Rehab Center and Clinics 15 $72,947
Redmond - Central Oregon Regional HA Portland VA Medical Center , Bend Community-Based Outreach Clinic 15 $97,148
  OREGON Total  240 $1,214,306
WASHINGTON
Seattle - Seattle HA VA Puget Sound, Seattle Campus 35 $252,294
Seattle - King County HA VA Puget Sound, Seattle Campus 40 $324,163
Tacoma - Tacoma HA VA Puget Sound, American Lake Campus 15 $89,950
Vancouver - Vancouver HA Portland VA Medical Center , Vancouver Campus 30 $155,347
Everett - Snohomish Cty HA VA Puget Sound VA Medical Center , Everett Community-Based Outreach Clinic 15 $118,359
Tacoma - Pierce Cty HA VA Puget Sound VA Medical Center , American Lake Campus 15 $103,198
Spokane - Spokane HA Spokane VA Medical Center 75 $332,397
Walla Walla- Walla Walla HA Walla Walla VA Medical Center , Richland Community-Based Outreach Clinic 35 $140,763
  WASHINGTON Total  260  $1,516,471

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 first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer.

VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing authorities 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.

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 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH.

Donovan and Shinseki announced this additional support for homeless veterans in an address to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference today in Washington. Find out how much of this assistance will help homeless veterans in your area.

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 communitiess 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.

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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.