LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 2, 2014) – On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced $145,767 in rental vouchers to local public housing agencies in Texas to help 25 homeless Veterans find permanent supportive housing.
These vouchers are provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.
The Metropolitan Housing Alliance of Little Rock will administer the Vouchers. Overall, Arkansas now has 415 vouchers to help house homeless veterans.
HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration's commitment to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness 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. As evidence of that commitment, President Obama has asked for an additional $75 million for HUD-VASH vouchers to serve Veterans experiencing homelessness in his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress
"It is unacceptable that after their service and sacrifice, too many of our veterans find themselves living on our streets and in our shelters," said Secretary Castro. "We've made significant progress reducing homelessness among veterans by a third in just four years, and these vouchers will continue to help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to those in need to ensure that every veteran has a home."
"These vouchers can play a tremendous part in keeping Veterans housed and connected with the resources and case management needed to rebuild lives," said Regional Administrator Tammye H. Treviño. "The VASH program has dealt a serious blow to the numbers of veteran homeless, and this new round of funding confirms an ongoing commitment to those who have served in our armed forces."
Last month, HUD, VA and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released a new national estimate of Veteran homelessness in the United States. In January of 2014, thousands of cities and counties across the country reported 49,933 homeless Veterans, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010. This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of unsheltered Veterans sleeping on the street.
Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 74,000 homeless Veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation's Veterans.