Duly Noted . . .

HUD awards $1.7 million to help 312 homeless veterans  find homes

In an ongoing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded nearly $1.7 million to help 312 homeless veterans in Michigan find a permanent place to call home. This amount includes nearly $1.2 million awarded to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to serve 206 veterans. The rental assistance 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.

The Kent County Housing Commission, in partnership with the Battle Creek VA Medical Center/Grand Rapids Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, received funds to find homes for 24 veterans. The awards were part of a national announcement of $65 million.

With HUD celebrating its 50th anniversary, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans.

HUD-VASH is an important part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide critical housing/services to veterans experiencing homelessness., which also includes HUD’s Homeless Assistance Programs, A’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.  “We look forward to partnering with communities to ensure that every veteran can... have a place to call home.”

Since 2008, more than 69,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 88,000 homeless veterans have been served through HUD-VASH.  Rental assistance and supportive services provided are a critical resource for communities.

Additionally, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with communities to confront the root causes of homelessness.  USICH has identified strategies, found at  http://usich.gov/population/veterans/10-strategies-to-end-veteran-homelessness/, that increase collaboration and coordination in programs serving veterans experiencing homelessness.

In the program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess Veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers.  Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.