HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD 16-0218
Gloria Shanahan
(305) 520-5030
For Release
February 18, 2016

Volusia County has systems in place to house all homeless veterans

MIAMI - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced Volusia County, FL has effectively ended homelessness among veterans by establishing a system to house any veteran who may be living in emergency shelters or on the streets. The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness was first issued by First Lady Michelle Obama and has recruited more than 865 mayors and local officials to commit to its ambitious goal. More than 20 cities and states have reached the goal to date, with more on pace to do so soon.

In 2010, President Obama launched Opening Doors (, the nation's first-ever comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Since then, veteran homelessness has declined by an incredible 36 percent; family homelessness dropped 19 percent, and chronic homelessness fell 22 percent. This progress has been made possible with support from the President and First Lady and every level of government, in partnership in the private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors.

The decline in veteran homelessness is largely attributed to significant investments made by the U.S. Congress and the close partnership between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on a joint program called HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), which provides a rental subsidy along with supportive services for those veterans who need them. In that time, nearly 80,000 vouchers have been awarded and more than 104,000 homeless veterans have been served through the broader HUD-VASH program.

"We congratulate Volusia County for achieving the milestone of ending veteran homelessness by having a process and the resources in place where they can immediately house a veteran," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "When our men and women of the armed forces return home to civilian life, some after multiple deployments, they need and deserve housing."

To aid local officials in pursuit of the Mayors Challenge goal of ending homelessness among veterans, the Federal government has provided resources and enforced programs to strengthen our country's homeless assistance programs. These resources and reforms, when implemented at a local level, can include:

  • Using a Housing First approach, which removes barriers to help veterans obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, without unnecessary prerequisites;
  • Prioritizing the most vulnerable Veterans, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, for permanent supportive housing opportunities, including those created through the HUD-VASH program;
  • Targeting rapid re-housing interventions, including those made possible through the Department of Veterans Affairs' Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, toward veterans and their families who need shorter-term rental subsidies and services in order to be reintegrated back into our communities.


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