Helping Homeless Veterans On Long Island

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the award of $35 million in rental assistance vouchers to public housing agencies (PHAs) to combat homelessness among veterans.

These rental assistance vouchers, awarded through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, will allow 212 PHAs across the country to provide permanent supportive housing for more than 4,000 homeless veterans. Locally, the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation received $244,946 to support 25 rental assistance vouchers through this voucher allocation, bringing the total number of HUD-VASH vouchers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties to more than 500.

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. The vouchers have contributed to the 46 percent decline in homelessness among veterans nationally since the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness was launched in 2010.

“We are fortunate in our strong relationships with HUD, Long Island elected officials, and all of the other organizations dedicated to addressing the issue of veteran homelessness,” said Dr. Cathy Cruise, the interim director of the Northport VA Medical Center. “We are proudly working together to fulfill our nation’s promise to our veterans.”

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.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Visit www.va.gov/homeless/hud-vash.asp to learn more about the HUD-VASH program.

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