The HUD-VASH Program combines the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at its medical centers and in the community.
HUD-VASH assists homeless veterans and their families afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing through the distribution of housing vouchers. Beneficiaries are selected based on certain requirements including health care eligibility, homelessness status, and income. Since 2008, beneficiaries are no longer required to be chronically mentally ill or have chronic substance abuse disorders. However, chronically homeless veterans are a target population for HUD-VASH.
For FY2009, 132 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) and 137 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) were identified and selected to participate in the HUD-VASH program. Each VAMC is partnered with at least one PHA and there is at least one VAMC-PHA partnership in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Specific VAMCs and PHAs were selected based on geographical need for assistance (as identified by the VA Secretary), PHA administrative performance, and other factors determined by the HUD Secretary in consultation with the VA Secretary.
The number of vouchers distributed to each PHA was determined by HUD and the VA.
In 2008, Congress made available $75 million to fund 10,000 HUD-VASH vouchers and funded an additional 10,000 vouchers in 2009. Approximately 35 rental vouchers were awarded for each professional, full-time HUD-VASH case manager at a local VAMC. HUD-VASH vouchers may be reallocated in the future based on need and usage.
HUD-VASH vouchers may be used to provide rental assistance to eligible homeless veterans and their families. Vouchers are generally tenant-based. However, on a case-by-case basis, project-based vouchers may be used. (For more information, review the "Program Components" section.)
Funds may also be used to cover PHA administrative costs related to the HUD-VASH program.
Homeless veterans and their families receiving HUD-VASH rental assistance must receive VA case management services until the VAMC determines that it is no longer necessary.
PHAs must maintain records that make it easy to identify and track all HUD-VASH voucher recipients. Families must be identified in the Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC). Record-keeping will help ensure that, in accordance with appropriations renewal language, HUD-VASH vouchers that are in use will remain available for homeless veterans upon turnover.
With some exceptions, all regulatory requirements and HUD directives regarding the HCV tenant-based program are applicable to HUD-VASH vouchers, including the use of all HUD-required contracts and other forms.
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