HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $60 million to local housing agencies across the country to offer permanent supportive housing to homeless Veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions.
Washington state will receive just over $1.5 million for a variety of agencies. Housing Authority City of Spokane will receive the largest amount with Housing Authority of King County the next, combining for just over $656,500. Other agencies sharing in the vouchers are Seattle Housing Authority, Housing Authority City of Tacoma, Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver, Housing Authority of Snohomish County, Housing Authority of Pierce County and Housing Authority City of Walla Walla.
The supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through HUD/VASH (Supportive Housing) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. The program has provided 48,385 vouchers since 2008 and 42,557 formerly homeless vets are currently in homes because of the HUD-VASH.
It’s a national tragedy that those who served our Nation in uniform can end up living in our shelters or on our streets, said Donovan. Today we make another investment in meeting President Obama’s challenge that we end Veteran homelessness once and for all.
HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness in 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a road map 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 first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer.
About the author: Fred Chamberlin is a Vietnam era veteran and was a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He was in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 and authors a number of mortgage related blogs.