News Releases

HOMELESS VETERANS: Senator Murray Announces Veterans Funding to Help House Veterans Across Washington State

May 29 2013

Eight state housing authorities will receive a total of $1.5 million to put 260 homeless veterans into stable housing under joint HUD-VA program Murray funded

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Housing Appropriations Subcommittee and senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced that 260 housing vouchers will be allocated to eight different state Housing Authorities in order to help get Washington homeless veterans into housing.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program vouchers announced today are part of $75 million Senator Murray included in the 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill to support the housing needs of homeless veterans across the country. 

“This is another critical boost for efforts to get homeless veterans in Washington state off the streets and into stable housing,” said Senator Murray. “Each one of these vouchers represents a year’s rent for someone who has sacrificed for our nation but is now struggling to find housing. For too long homeless veterans have been forgotten heroes. Today’s announcement marks significant progress towards our goal of ending veterans homelessness by 2015 by providing all veterans with housing and the dignity that comes with it.”

Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers (VAMC) offer supportive services and case management.  This is the first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding.  HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH.

VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009.  On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veterans were homeless.

In July 2012, Senator Murray helped broker a deal in Congress that paved the way for major veterans omnibus legislation to unanimously pass the Senate and move forward to be signed into law. Among other things, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejune Families Act of 2012 reauthorized a number of VA’s programs to help homeless veterans and expanded eligibility for VA’s emergency shelter services to include homeless veterans who are not seriously mentally ill.  In addition, the bill enhanced grant programs for homeless veterans with special needs, by including dependents of veterans and male veterans with dependent children.  The bill also improved the grant and per diem program, which serves upward of 30,000 homeless veterans annually, by requiring VA to report on how to improve the per diem payment process for grantees.  Finally, the bill strengthened efforts by eligible entities to assist in case management services provided to the nearly 40,000 homeless veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program.

The following is a list of Washington state housing authorities and corresponding VA facilities that will receive HUD-VASH vouchers and the number of vouchers they are set to receive:

(Local Housing Authorities and VA facilities work together to administer this program.)

Public Housing Authority

VA Medical Center

Vouchers

12-Month Budget Authority

Seattle Housing Authority

VA Puget Sound, Seattle Campus

35

$252,294

HA of King County

VA Puget Sound, Seattle Campus

40

$324,163

HA City of Tacoma

VA Puget Sound, American Lake Campus

15

$89,950

HA City of Vancouver

Portland, Vancouver Campus

30

$155,347

HA of Snohomish County

VA Puget Sound, Everett CBOC

15

$118,359

HA of Pierce County

VA Puget Sound, American Lake Campus

15

$103,198

HA City of Spokane

Spokane

75

$332,397

HA City of Walla Walla

Walla Walla, Richland CBOC

35

$140,763

 

Total:

260

$1,516,471