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HUD and VA Combine Efforts for Homeless Veterans

HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have again combined forces to fight homelessness among veterans, announcing the distribution of $18.5 million to 39 local public housing agencies.

The funds are expected to help approximately 2,100 homeless veterans through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program [1], combining HUD’s rental assistance with the VA’s case management and clinical services.

According to HUD, the HUD-VASH Project-Based Vouchers are attached to specific existing, newly constructed, or rehabilitated units and will preserve affordable housing, ensuring that those who need the services will receive them.

“Housing our nation’s veterans has been a top priority of this Administration, and one at which we’ve been particularly successful,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that those who have served their country in uniform have a home, and these vouchers will expand our success in ending veteran homelessness as we know it.”

This is the second round of funding distributed by HUD this year to help end veteran homelessness. In June [2], the Department awarded almost $38 million to assist more than 5,200 veterans.

The Obama Administration has made ending veteran homelessness [3] a priority. The Administration and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched a comprehensive strategy, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness [4], aimed at preventing and ending homelessness, particularly among veterans. HUD announced in August that veteran homelessness across the country had been reduced by half since 2010.

Since 2008, more than 79,000 vouchers have been awarded, serving approximately 111,000 veterans through the HUD-VASH program.

“Increasing the supply of affordable housing is one of the keys to ending Veteran homelessness,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “The project-based HUD-VASH vouchers announced today will increase the availability of affordable housing for the most vulnerable homeless Veterans in communities across the U.S. and ensure they have access to VA case management and supportive services to remain stably housed.”

Click here [5] to view HUD’s announcement along with a local funding chart.