HUD, VA to provide permanent housing, support to 60 homeless vets in Illinois
Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced Dec. 13 that HUD will provide more than $315,000 to public housing agencies to supply permanent housing and case management for homeless veterans in Illinois.
This funding, from HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans. Peoria, Rockford and Rock Island County were part of 18 communities to receive the remaining $2.4 million appropriated for 2011 that will support 435 vouchers. Following is the breakdown of that support:
• Rockford Housing Authority/William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis. — 25 vouchers and $126,606 in 12-month rental assistance.
• Peoria Housing Authority/Illiana HCS/Peoria CBOC — 25 vouchers and $139,038 in 12-month rental assistance.
• Greater Metropolitan Area Housing Authority of Rock Island County/Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center — 10 vouchers and $49,535 in 12-month rental assistance.
This funding to local housing agencies is part of the Barack Obama administration’s commitment to end veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 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.
Since 2008, HUD-VASH has provided more than 33,000 homeless veterans permanent supportive housing and supportive services.
“During this season of giving, I’m thrilled to announce that we have evidence that this funding is making a real difference to get homeless veterans off the street and into homes they can call their own,” said Donovan. “Thanks to the work done by HUD, and agency partners across the Obama administration, the most recent homeless estimate shows veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent in just one year.”
Shinseki added: “This program provides critical assistance to those who have worn our nation’s military uniforms and are in need of a home. VA and HUD will continue to work in partnership to end homelessness among veterans.”
HUD also released its latest estimate on homelessness in America and found veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent (or 8,834 people) since January 2010.
The vouchers awarded are part of the $50 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2011 to support the housing needs of 7,250 homeless veterans. VA Medical Centers (VAMC) provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans. Earlier this year, HUD awarded $46.2 million in HUD-VASH funding.
Homeless veterans are referred to the public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the need for case management services. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides.
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 and Puerto Rico.
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