HUD No. 08-052
HUD: Donna White
April 16, 2008
HUD AND VA TO PROVIDE PERMANENT HOUSING FOR AN ESTIMATED 10,000 HOMELESS VETERANS
$75 million program to reduce the number of homeless vets
NEW YORK � U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi today announced $75 million to provide permanent supportive housing for an estimated 10,000 homeless veterans nationwide. Bernardi and Peake made the announcement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a newly renovated housing program for homeless veterans in Queens and emphasized the Federal and local government's partnership to house and support America's homeless veteran population.
"We are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice by our nation's veterans and we must make every effort to help them as they struggle to avoid a life on the streets," said Bernardi. "This program is one opportunity to say, 'Thank You' and to make certain that we serve them as they once served us."
"Today, VA and HUD are strengthening our long-standing partnership on homelessness to achieve a simple vision � that no one who has served and fought for their country should have to live on the streets," said Peake. "We hope to build upon this effort soon with another step providing more case managers to support a marked increase in permanent housing units."
"Ending veteran homelessness is an ambitious goal that is more in reach thanks to this historic federal commitment to provide housing for veterans," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our partnership with the VA has already provided homes for hundreds of veterans over the past year and the housing slots being allocated to New York City today will bring new hope to more than 1,000 homeless veterans in our City. It sends a powerful message to the men and women currently fighting for our country overseas � that we do not take their service for granted."
Left to right: Tino Hernandez, Chairman, New York City Housing Authority, VA Secretary James B. Peake, and Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi
HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) will provide local public housing agencies with approximately 10,000 rental assistance vouchers specifically targeted to assist homeless veterans in their area. In addition, VA and HUD will link local public housing agencies with VA Medical Centers to provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans.
HUD will allocate the housing vouchers to local public housing agencies across the country that 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 VA Medical Center with the capacity to provide case management.
HUD will provide housing assistance through its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program which allows participants to rent privately owned housing. The VA will offer eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S and Puerto Rico. Last year, VA provided health care to more than 100,000 homeless veterans and other services to over 60,000 veterans in its specialized homeless programs. The Bush Administration's proposed FY 2009 Budget seeks to double the amount of funding announced today to provide an additional $75 million to support the housing and service needs of an additional 10,000 homeless veterans across America.
Local communities or "Continuums of Care" that receive HUD homeless assistance will work with local VA Medical Centers to identify eligible participants. The VA will then screen homeless veterans to determine their eligibility. Those eligible vets will receive treatment and regular case management to retain the voucher. VA Medical Center case managers will also work closely with local housing agencies to help participants find suitable housing. Participating local housing agencies will also determine income eligibility in accordance to HUD regulations for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
Secretary James B. Peake, M.D. serves as the chair the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the federal coordinating body addressing issues of homelessness. VA is the largest federal provider of direct assistance to the homeless, including outreach and case management, treatment, rehabilitation, transitional residential care, therapeutic work and assistance with permanent housing. As part of its homelessness programs, VA also supports special programs for the treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering from mental illness and addictive disorders. For more information, visit VA's grant and per diem program Web page or contact VA's grant and per diem program office toll free at (877) 332-0334, or e-mail VA at firstname.lastname@example.org.