Patty in the News

Homeless veterans in Washington stand to benefit from more than $1 million in new grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

About $145,000 will go to homeless vets living in Tacoma. That’s enough money for the Tacoma Housing Authority to provide rent vouchers to 25 families of homeless veterans over the next year.

The vouchers were among $46.2 million in housing grants HUD released to agencies around the country. It aims to help 6,790 veterans who might otherwise live on the streets.

“These vouchers will provide critical support to veterans whose needs went unmet for too long, so that homeless veterans in Tacoma will finally get the services they need and a permanent place to call home,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in a statement.

Murray is the chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and she recently has drawn attention to relatively high unemployment rates for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Nancy Vignec, the Tacoma Housing Authority’s director of community services, said the housing vouchers benefit older veterans, too.

“We see veterans from many different generations,” she said. “The people who receive these vouchers are from all walks of life, including families.”

Veterans using the vouchers will receive the money to rent private homes, and they could be asked to contribute up to 30 percent of their income for housing costs, according to HUD. Last year, the Tacoma Housing Authority received a similar amount of money to support 25 homeless veterans.

Housing agencies in Washington will receive about $1 million total, with the largest sums going to the King County Housing Authority ($293,700) and the Seattle Housing Authority ($241,500).

-The News Tribune