Government Lending

VA announces plan to house 41,000 homeless veterans

The plan also includes provisions to prevent homelessness from reoccurring for program beneficiaries

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on Thursday its goals to house 41,000 veterans experiencing homelessness by transitioning them into permanent housing, and to ensure that 95% of those who receive such assistance do not return to homelessness during the year.

The VA also seeks to engage with 40,000 additional unhoused veterans and direct them to resources that could help them obtain housing and other services.

“Even one veteran experiencing homelessness is a tragedy,” VA Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher said during the announcement of the goals Thursday at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “We’ve made progress in recent years in tackling this problem, but there’s still a long way to go — and that’s why we’re setting these aggressive goals.”

This is the next step of addressing veteran homelessness, which the VA has called a “top priority” for both the department and the Biden administration. Based on data released by the VA in December 2023, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness has fallen by 4.5% since 2020 and by 52% since 2010.

“Whenever we get into contact with a homeless veteran, our first priority is to get them into the housing they deserve,” Bradsher said. “Then we work to provide them with the tools they need to stay housed — including health care, job training, legal and education assistance, and more. That’s how we’ll meet and exceed these goals in 2024.”

The department also announced goals to minimize or alleviate veteran homelessness specific to the Los Angeles area, including a goal to permanently house “at least 1,605 veterans experiencing homelessness,” and to engage “with at least 2,184 unsheltered veterans to help them obtain housing and other wraparound services.”

In 2023, the VA addressed the challenges in Los Angeles by providing 1,790 permanent housing placements to formerly homeless veterans in the city, which is “the most of any city in America, and exceeded their local goal by over 19%,” the department stated.

Thursday’s announcement follows on the heels of a prior announcement by the VA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the end of February. That offered details on more than $14.5 million that will be distributed by public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country in an effort to house veterans. These funds will be distributed by the PHAs through more than 1,400 HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers.

While the highest concentration of vouchers are going to Tucson, Arizona; Philadelphia; and Spokane, Washington, the footprint covers a wide range of states, according to the list of recipients.

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