HUD, VA give $5.4 million to house homeless veterans
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs allocated $5.4 million to local public housing authorities Monday to house homeless veterans across the country. The agencies chose organizations in 18 states to receive funds under the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, a $75 million initiative to provide "permanent housing and case management" to homeless veterans. The latest round of funding is the fourth and final allocation from the 2010 budget set to reach 676 veterans. After this round of grants, HUD and VA will have financed more than 10,000 housing vouchers for veterans, the agencies said. "As our young men and women return from Afghanistan and Iraq, they deserve to be treated with dignity and honor," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said. "Yet our nation's veterans are 50% more likely than the average American to become homeless." HUD and VA award monetary grants to public housing authorities around the country, which then give out housing vouchers to specific housing units or complexes. These places can then provide affordable housing to U.S. veterans. Public housing authorities compete for these grants. In December, HUD said it prevented or ended homelessness for 750,000 American through a different program called the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. Christopher Gardner spoke at HousingWire's 2nd annual REO Expo conference Monday, saying that nearly 12% of all homeless people have jobs and go to work everyday. His journey from homelessness to business success inspired the book and movie "Pursuit of Happyness." HUD said it will begin releasing winners of 2011 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program funds this summer. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.