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RISMEDIA, June 7, 2010—U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that nearly 8,000 homeless veterans will get permanent housing assistance through a HUD rental assistance program that connects homeless veterans from local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) with rental assistance vouchers provided by local public housing agencies. HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) will provide local public housing agencies with $58.6 million in funding specifically targeted to assist homeless veterans in their area.

“Though they served and sacrificed so much for our country, too many of our veterans find themselves on the streets and in homeless shelters,” said Donovan. “Thankfully, these vouchers will provide a more permanent solution to housing and services these veterans need.”

“Today, the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and HUD are making a critical, long-term investment toward ending homelessness among veterans,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “The most effective option to providing veterans permanent shelter is HUD-VA Supportive Housing- HUD-VASH- the Nation’s largest permanent housing initiative for Veterans. We owe every man and woman, who has worn our Nation’s military uniforms, a level of courage and determination that matches theirs as we work to end veteran homelessness. HUD-VASH is immensely important and effective to reaching our goal.”

The grants announced are part of a $75 million investment to support the needs of homeless veterans. HUD expects to announce a second round of funding for another 1,355 rental vouchers next month and an additional 400 project-based vouchers later this summer. Local public housing agencies that administer HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) work closely with VAMCs to manage the program. In addition to the rental assistance, VAMCs provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans.

HUD allocates the housing vouchers to local public housing agencies, which are specifically targeted to homeless veterans based on a variety of factors, including the number of reported homeless veterans and the proximity of a local VAMC with the capacity to provide case management. Local communities that receive HUD homeless assistance will work with local VAMCs to identify eligible participants. VAMC case managers will also work directly with local housing agencies that are administering the HUD-VASH program to determine income eligibility and help participants find suitable 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. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S and Puerto Rico.

This is the third year HUD is supporting the housing and service needs of homeless veterans across America through HUD-VASH with a total investment of $225 million that will sustain approximately 30,000 rental assistance vouchers.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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