HUD and VA to Provide Permanent Supportive Housing for an Estimated 10,000 Homeless Veterans

Icon

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Press Releases | August 12, 2008

April 17, 2008

Contact: Lauren Wright
202-942-8246, lwright@naeh.org

Move marks the first increase in veterans’ housing vouchers since the inception of the program in 1994

Washington, DC – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) announced yesterday that they are distributing the $75 million allotted by Congress to provide permanent supportive housing vouchers for an estimated 10,000 homeless veterans. This is the first year that there has been an increase in permanent supportive housing for veterans since the inception of the program in 1994.

Congress included the $75 million for HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) in its fiscal year 2008 transportation and housing funding bill. The provision was engineered by Sen. Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the program, along with Sen. Kit Bond, the Ranking Member of the subcommittee; and in the House of Representatives by Rep. John Olver, Chairman of the subcommittee, and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, the subcommittee’s Ranking Member. Housing support will be provided through HUD, with the VA providing case management and services to the veterans.

As the U.S. enters its sixth year in Iraq, the housing voucher increase comes at a crucial time. In 2007, according to VA estimates, approximately 154,000 veterans were homeless on any given night. The VA has identified approximately 556 Iraq or Afghanistan veterans who have experienced homelessness and approximately 1,819 who have utilized some form of homelessness assistance.

“Far too many veterans are homeless in America; it’s a shameful, but solvable problem. We applaud Senators Murray and Bond, the VA, and HUD for recognizing the need for permanent, supportive housing for veterans.” said Nan Roman, President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a DC based nonprofit.

Permanent supportive housing is an evidence-based solution that is successful for veterans who are chronically homeless (homeless repeatedly or for long periods of time) and those who have mental illness, physical illness and disabilities, or substance abuse disorders. A number of research studies show that it is cost-effective and helps people who have intensive needs maintain stable housing.

Chronic homelessness among veterans is common. In November 2007, the Alliance released Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans, a report that found that 44,000 to 64,000 veterans are chronically homeless.

“Affordable housing is crucial for returning veterans, many of whom are suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other mental and physical combat injuries,” said Roman.

The Bush Administration’s proposed FY 2009 Budget seeks to double the amount of funding announced today and provide an additional $75 million to support the housing and service needs of an additional 10,000 homeless veterans across America.

###

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, mission- driven organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost- effective policy solutions. Working collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, the Alliance provides data and research that lead to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness. For more information on The National Alliance to End Homelessness, visit: www.endhomelessness.org