|HUD No. Region VI: 12-22
HUD Contact: Patricia Campbell (817) 978-5974
VA Contact: Josh Taylor (202) 461-7216
December 13, 2011
HUD, VA TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PERMANENT HOUSING AND SUPPORT TO 25 HOMELESS VETS IN OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency Receives Grant to Fund Additional 25 Section 8 Vouchers HUD reports that veteran homelessness has fallen 12% since January 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $95,550 to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency to supply permanent housing and case management for an additional 25 homeless veterans.
This funding, from HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans. Oklahoma is one of 18 communities to receive the remaining $2.4 million appropriated for 2011 that will support a total of 435 vouchers. The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency already administers 50 VASH vouchers, so today's funding increases their capacity and now allows them to provide housing to 75 homeless veterans.
Homeless veterans are referred to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency for VASH vouchers through their local VA Medical Center, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the need for case management services. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.
"During this season of giving, I'm thrilled to announce that we have evidence that this funding is making a real difference to get homeless veterans off the street and into homes they can call their own," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "Thanks to the work done by HUD, and agency partners across the Obama Administration, the most recent homeless estimate shows veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent in just one year."
"This program provides critical assistance to those who have worn our nation's military uniforms and are in need of a home," said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. "VA and HUD will continue to work in partnership to end homelessness among veterans."
Today HUD also released its latest estimate on homelessness in America and found veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent (or 8,834 people) since January 2010.
The vouchers awarded today are part of the $50 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2011 to support the housing needs of 7,250 homeless veterans. Earlier this year, HUD awarded $46.2 million in HUD-VASH funding.
This funding to local housing agencies is part of Obama Administration's commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (www.usich.gov/PDF/FactSheetVeterans.pdf) serves as a roadmap 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. Since 2008, HUD-VASH has provided more than 33,000 homeless veterans permanent supportive housing and supportive services.
VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.
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.
VA is the federal government’s second-largest cabinet office. Secretary Shinseki has outlined three key priorities for the department: increase Veteran access to VA services and benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end Veteran homelessness. VA provides health care to more than 6 million people each year, in 91 million outpatient visits and 960,000 hospitalizations. VA provides more than $58 billion annually in disability pay and pensions to 4.5 million Americans, $10 billion in educational assistance, $1 billion for home loans and $2.6 billion for life insurance. More information about VA is available at www.va.gov.