Thirty-five more homeless veterans can now receive housing assistance from the District of Columbia Housing Authority, creating a total of 1,109 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers administered by the agency.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie made the announcement of $35 million in grants to combat veteran homelessness nationwide earlier this month. The funding will be provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program to 212 public housing agencies across the country to provide a permanent home for more than 4,000 homeless veterans.

“We have few responsibilities greater than making sure those who have sacrificed so much in service to their country have a home they can call their own,” Carson said at the announcement. “The housing vouchers awarded today ensure homeless veterans nationwide have access to affordable housing and the critical support services from the VA.”

“Assisting homeless veterans to gain access to housing helps them in every aspect of their lives,” Wilkie said. “This joint effort ensures that the federal government’s efforts are aligned in reducing homelessness and aiding veterans. VA and HUD are proud to be teammates in a program that makes a tangible improvement in the lives of the nation’s veterans.”

The HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance vouchers from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, more than 93,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 150,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program nationally.

“Since 2008, DCHA has awarded more than 1,100 VASH vouchers to D.C.-area veterans, helping them find homes in the District. We also have an annual Veterans Appreciation Day where we assist veterans in finding other local, federal, and community-based services that allow them to improve their quality of life,” said Ronald McCoy, director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program at DCHA.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for long-term, intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

The secretaries also announced an additional $7.4 million through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist low-income, disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible, such as wheelchair ramps or reconfiguring a bathroom, so they can maintain their independence.

Two organizations in D.C., Housing Assistance Council and Rebuilding Together, received $1.7 million in VHRMP funds.

Last modified: 10/31/2018 3:34:08 PM