The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced $3.9 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) to help make homes more accessible for disabled veterans. Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening doors, reconfiguring bathrooms and modifying homes to accommodate a veteran’s caregiver.
“It’s our duty to ensure our veterans, who gave everything in service to our country, have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “These grants announced today will give veterans living with disabilities the modifications they need to live on their own and regain their independence.”
“We stand by those who have served and are proud to have these funds make housing more accessible for low-income and disable veterans,” said John Gibbs, acting assistant secretary for Community Planning and Development, which administers the program at HUD.
The purpose of this program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.
The following applicants are receiving funding:
St. Bernard Project will receive a VHRMP grant award in the amount of $1,000,000. The organization’s match for this project is $500,000, and an additional, $500,000 will be leveraged. The St. Bernard Project, based in New Orleans, La., has grown into a nationally recognized leader in disaster recovery and has rebuilt over 2,200 homes for low-to-moderate income families and veterans. They will use the grant award to rebuild, repair and/or modify 22 homes for veterans in Louisiana (New Orleans), Texas (Houston and Brazoria County), Puerto Rico, Florida (Panama City), and the coasts of New York and New Jersey.
Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, located in Lansing, Mich., will receive a VHRMP grant award in the amount of $1,000,000. The organization’s match for this project is $1,022,055. In addition, $902,500 will be leveraged. The Habitat Affiliate Support Organization, incorporated in 1993 as a non-profit, provides education, technical assistance and financial resources to Habitat affiliate offices statewide. The organization will work with 77 low-income and disabled veterans to make necessary critical interior and exterior housing modifications, rehabilitation and repairs over the three-year project period. The types of rehab and modifications that are needed will vary by individual household situations and will include accessibility modifications to enable long-term aging in place, as well as critical home repairs required to ensure health, safety, energy efficiency and affordability.
District of Columbia
Rebuilding Together, Inc. will receive a VHRMP grant award in the amount of $999,992. The organization’s match for this project is $500,500. In addition, $500,500 will be leveraged. Rebuilding Together is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with over 32 years of experience in home rehabilitation and community revitalization, including an existing veterans housing initiative. The organization has a network of 127 affiliated non-profit organizations in 38 states and the District of Columbia, carrying out housing rehabilitation and modification activities benefitting low-income persons, including military veterans and persons with disabilities. Rebuilding Together affiliates will carry out these services at the local level. Funding from this grant will be used by affiliates to modify and repair homes for 70 eligible veterans nationwide.
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Habitat) will receive a Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) grant award in the amount of $1,000,000. The organization’s match for this project is $500,000. In addition, $200,000 will be leveraged. Located in Americus, Ga., Habitat is a private, non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization that has helped affiliates build and rehabilitate more than 175,000 affordable homeownership housing units in partnership with low-income people in the United States since 1976. Habitat’s mission is carried out locally throughout the nation by approximately 1,290 affiliates that operate within a specific geographic service area in Habitat’s service area. In 2013, Habitat established a veterans department to provide a greater focus on assisting low-income veterans through new homes, rehabilitation or repairs. Habitat has served just over 5,000 veterans through new construction, rehabilitation or repairs. Funding from this grant will be used by affiliates to modify and repair homes for 90 eligible veterans with an average grant amount of $10,000.