HUD & VA ANNOUNCE MORE VOUCHERS TO HELP WISCONSIN HOMELESS VETS GET INTO PERMANENT HOMES
HUD-VASH builds on decline in veteran homelessness since 2009
CHICAGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a third round of HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) funding to local public housing agencies in Wisconsin. The $144,184 funding will offer permanent homes and clinical services to 30 homeless veterans.
Earlier this year, the two agencies announced $403,179 in HUD-VASH vouchers to help house and serve 80 veterans, most unsheltered or living in homeless shelters. 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 58,250 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly 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 so it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to make sure they are taken care of," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "These vouchers are vital to helping America end veterans' homelessness one veteran at a time. 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."
"Our Wisconsin veterans have sacrificed much for our safety and security - now it's our turn to do everything we can to help them," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.
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.
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. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDgov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
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.