|HUD No. 11-79
December 15, 2011
HUD, HCR AND CDC OF LONG ISLAND ANNOUNCE THAT 195 HOMELESS VETERANS HAVE FOUND PERMANENT HOUSING IN SUFFOLK
NEW YORK - HUD Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión, NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner and CEO Darryl C. Towns and Marianne Garvin, President and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDC), today announced that 195 homeless veterans have found permanent housing in Suffolk County under a joint HUD and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program that provides rental housing and support services to needy veterans. 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 and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), 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 holiday season than providing 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.
"The HUD-VASH Program in Suffolk County complements other important housing initiatives that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is pursuing for New York's veterans," said HCR Commissioner/CEO Towns. "The special purpose vouchers by HUD provide a lifeline for a critical population, and we appreciate the efforts of CDC, our local voucher program partner in Suffolk County."
"We are so pleased to work in partnership with HUD and HCR on the VASH program to help our veterans sustain permanent independent housing in our communities," said Marianne Garvin, President & CEO, CDC.
"Northport VA Medical Center is grateful for our partnership with Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Long Island," said Northport's Homeless Veterans Program Manager Greg Curran, LCSW. "Their housing vouchers, combined with supportive case management provided by VA social workers, has proven to be an effective means of assisting Veterans in transitioning from homelessness to independent living in our community. The staff at CDC has consistently demonstrated their commitment to providing our Veterans with the expertise, assistance and the resources needed to secure safe, affordable housing."
Mr. Richard Webb graduated from the HUD VASH program in April 2011, and is a proud Army veteran, having served from 1994-1997. Shortly after his tour was completed, he fell ill and was unable to work. He and his critically ill wife were forced to live in separate shelters, then a basement apartment that, over time, became uninhabitable. Mr. Webb was told of the HUD-VASH program through family and clinics he was going to during this time. Within weeks after contacting the Veteran's Administration in Northport, he was granted a housing voucher and now lives in a clean and safe environment.
Although, Mrs. Webb passed away in February 2010, Mr. Webb remains grateful that she was able to spend her last days is a clean and safe environment, and is very thankful for all the HUD-VASH program did for him.
"When everything was at its worst, we had nowhere to go and did not know what to do," said Webb. "Thank God for the HUD-VASH Program."
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 fourth year HUD is supporting the housing and service needs of homeless veterans across America through HUD-VASH with a total investment of $275 million in voucher awards. Since 2008, HUD has funded over 37,000 HUD-VASH rental assistance vouchers nationwide. Another 435 HUD/VASH vouchers from the FY 2011 allocation are expected to be awarded in the next few weeks, with the CDC expected to receive an additional 25 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.