Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Help for Homeless Veterans

It is tragic that so many of America's veterans have become homeless. I was contacted by Brandon Fischer at VA Benefit Blog.com who asked me to provide this info to you:

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From VA Benefit Blog.com

Veterans make up about one-third of the homeless population, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is determined to end this within the next couple of years. Thus on June 3, the VA and HUD announced that they are administering $58.6 million to local housing agencies in order to provide permanent housing to homeless veterans.

The grant — HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) — is part of a $75 million investment targeted at providing services to homeless veterans. They hope that with the $58.6 million in housing vouchers they can provide housing and assistance to nearly 8,000 veterans.

VA Sec. Eric K. Shinseki said, “The most effective option to providing veterans permanent shelter is HUD-VASH — the nation’s largest permanent housing initiative for veterans,” and that the VA and HUD are making a “critical, long-term investment toward ending homelessness among veterans.” This is on top of the VA loan program that is already in place.

How it works:

Public housing agencies that work directly with homeless veterans will team up with local VA Medical Centers to ensure that those veterans who do need housing assistance will receive it. HUD will distribute the housing vouchers to these agencies, and in turn, veterans will receive more permanent housing and other necessary services.

The need is based on several factors, such as the number of homeless veterans a community reports and how closely located they are to a VA Medical Center. Case managers at the VA Medical Centers then work with the veteran once they are given the voucher and make sure that they actually find appropriate housing. Those veterans who do participate in housing assistance via HUD-VASH “rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.”

Coming soon is an expected announcement that HUD will initiate a second round of funding for another 1,355 rental vouchers and 400 more project-based vouchers to be announced later this summer. Currently this is the third year that HUD-VASH has been operating with a total investment of $225 million, which will provide 20,000 housing assistance vouchers.

For further information on this post, contact Brandon Fischer at Brandon@vabenefitblog.com .

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Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please check out their website.

Charles M. Grist

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