|HUD No. 11-02
January 4, 2011
HUD ANNOUNCES THAT 93 HOMELESS VETERANS HAVE FOUND PERMANENT HOUSING IN WESTERN NY
HUD-VASH program in NYS has provided Housing for over 300 Veterans
NEW YORK - Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión announced today that 93 homeless veterans have found permanent housing in western New York through the Town of Amherst under a joint HUD and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program that provides rental housing and support services to needy veterans. Since the program's inception in 2008, 329 homeless veterans in upstate and western New York have found permanent housing. VA estimates that there are approximately 131,000 homeless veterans on any given night in America.
"I am proud of the work we are doing to house homeless veterans. These men and women who have served and sacrificed so much for our country deserve nothing less from us," said Carrión. "Working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, we are doing our part to provide these veterans the housing and the tools they need to gain self-sufficiency. I can think of no better gift at the onset of winter than a safe and secure home for our most deserving fellow Americans."
HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) combines a HUD Housing Choice Voucher with VA case management and supportive services. The program is designed to assist homeless veterans find permanent housing through the Department's rental assistance program that connects homeless veterans from local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) with rental assistance vouchers provided by local public housing agencies. VA Medical Centers identify eligible candidates for public housing authorities, which administer the vouchers.
One local veteran who benefited from the HUD/VASH program was Monica (a pseudonym) who was in a difficult relationship. With two small children and no income of her own, she was forced to remain in this situation until she found VA HUD-VASH Case Manager Kristen Weese, who was able to house her and her children at a local Salvation Army Emergency Shelter. Monica's children were then enrolled in a summer day camp program, affording her the opportunity to search for housing and seek VA health care. Mrs. Weese then worked with Sean Lindstrom, HUD-VASH Coordinator at Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, to obtain a HUD/VASH voucher as well as suitable housing for her in Kaisertown, NY.
After securing housing and with her children happy and safe, Monica enrolled at a local nursing school, where she was recently recognized as an exemplary student while being showcased on the school's website. In addition, she began working in the VA's Compensated Work Program. The children have adjusted well to this transition and, with the love and support of their mother, they have begun excelling in school.
"Partnering with the VA on these vouchers has been an incredible experience, it is very rewarding to know you have made such a positive impact in the lives of these Veterans," said Mr. Lindstrom.
"The collaboration between VA and HUD has provided a wonderful opportunity to connect Veterans to housing and improve quality of life," stated Ms. Weese.
In addition to the Town of Amherst, which worked with the Belmont Housing Resources for WNY and the Amherst Housing Authority to help house the 93 veterans, the Syracuse Housing Authority has found permanent housing for 56 homeless veterans, the Albany Housing Authority 82 veterans, the Rochester Housing Authority 68 veterans, and the Rome Housing Authority 30 veterans.
HUD allocates the housing vouchers to local public housing agencies, which are specifically targeted to homeless veterans based on a variety of factors, including the number of reported homeless veterans and the proximity of a local VAMC with the capacity to provide case management. Local communities that receive HUD homeless assistance will work with local VAMCs to identify eligible participants. VAMC case managers will also work directly with local housing agencies that are administering the HUD-VASH program to determine income eligibility and help participants find suitable housing. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. The VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., and Puerto Rico.
This is the third year HUD is supporting the housing and service needs of homeless veterans across America through HUD-VASH with a total investment of $225 million that will sustain approximately 30,000 rental assistance vouchers.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.