|HUD No. 11-60
July 28, 2011
HUD ANNOUNCES THAT NEARLY 100 HOMELESS VETERANS HAVE FOUND PERMANENT HOUSING IN ALBANY
NEW YORK - Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión announced today that 98 homeless veterans have found permanent housing in and around Albany 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, 385 homeless veterans in upstate and central New York have found permanent housing. The 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 U.S. 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 during this time of sweltering heat 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. This program connects homeless veterans from local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) with HUD 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 Ms. Fawn Dalton, who started in the program in 2008 when she was homeless and living in local domestic violence shelters to escape an abusive relationship. For brief periods, she also lived with friends to provide her young sons, ages seven and three, a sense of normalcy and stability. Without a job, an income or a home, Ms. Dalton began her housing search through a local Homeless and Traveler's Aid Society which steered her to the Stratton VA Medical Center, where she was provided with counseling and support services, tangible housing resources and hope during visits. Ms. Dalton, who served as a Hospital Corps woman in the U.S. Navy, also learned about the HUD-VASH program, where the Albany Housing Authority and the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program worked together to provide her with a HUD/VASH Section 8 voucher. This led her to a wonderful, clean and affordable two-bedroom apartment subsidized by the Albany Housing Authority.
Nearly 3 years later, Ms. Dalton is completing her education and training in Coding and Billing at the Bradford Hall Career Institute and remains hopeful that she will obtain permanent and gainful employment to support her family. Additionally, Ms. Dalton's children are doing well academically and continue to receive support through both the Albany Housing Authority and the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program. When asked if she could sum up her experience navigating the gauntlet of homelessness, Ms Dalton replied, "The people are very caring. They go above and beyond to help me and my family...and now we are our own family."
"The HUD-VASH Program has provided the Albany VA Medical Center with a tremendous opportunity to serve both veterans and their families," said James R. Peluso, Program Manager for the VA's Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Office. "Through our partnership with HUD and the Albany PHA, we continue to be successful in providing permanent housing for homeless veterans along with case management services that facilitate their access to health care and a variety of other services from the VA and local community providers."
"Albany Housing Authority staff have formed a unique partnership with the Albany Veteran's Affairs Office that has created a synergy to assist homeless vets get the stability of an affordable place to live and call home while getting one-on-one case management to link up with services in the community to get well," said Steve Longo, Executive Director of the Albany Housing Authority. "We can all be proud of this outstanding service to the men and women who served our Country."
In addition to the Albany Housing Authority, the Syracuse Housing Authority has found permanent housing for 61 homeless veterans, the Rome Housing Authority 31 veterans, the Rochester Housing Authority 79 veterans, and the Town of Amherst 116 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 $314 million that will sustain over 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.