HUD and VA Launch “Boot Camps” to Accelerate Homeless Veterans’ Path to Permanent Housing and Support Services
August 13, 2023 / Source: HUD
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) “Boot Camps.” The HUD-VASH “Boot Camps” are a series of workshops to help Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Veteran Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) improve their processes and more quickly transition veterans from homelessness to permanent housing with wraparound supportive services. The HUD-VASH program combines HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA.
On April 10, 2023, HUD announced the availability of approximately $94.4 million in HUD-VASH. HUD anticipates that this funding will support up to11,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers. These vouchers are administered in partnership with the VA and enable homeless veterans and their families to access affordable housing with an array of supportive services. Public Housing Agencies that registered interest and were deemed eligible will receive invitation letters this week—the official funding opportunities to come.
“No one who served our country should have to sleep on a park bench or live without the security of a stable home. Addressing Veterans homelessness is one of the top priorities for HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “I commend HUD’s collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and partners to equip our public housing agencies and VA medical centers with the support needed to ensure that all Veterans have access to an affordable and safe place to call home.”
“These Boot Camps will help us get Veterans out of homelessness and into good homes – where they belong – as quickly as possible,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Every Veteran deserves a safe, stable home in this country they fought to defend, and we will stop at nothing to make that goal a reality.”
Today, Dr. Richard Cho, HUD’s Senior Advisor for Housing and Services, will join VA leadership to launch the first HUD-VASH “Boot Camps” set in Chicago, IL. There will be nine additional boot camps in each of HUD’s ten regions across the country over the coming months. The boot camps are a two-day, action-oriented in-person workshop. There will also be a virtual convening for PHAs and VAMCs that are unable to attend in person. The workshops will be facilitated by HUD and VA Technical Assistance (TA) providers and delivered in partnership with HUD, VA, and USICH (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) representatives.
During these workshops, each team of PHAs and VAMCs will strategize on ways to improve and speed-up referrals of veterans experiencing homelessness to HUD-VASH, issuing vouchers to eligible veterans, and leasing up veterans into rental housing. The sessions also will cover how to implement Housing First effectively, understanding trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the effective delivery of supportive services, and landlord engagement.
HUD makes this announcement during its “HUD On the Road” effort. “HUD on the Road” aims to make HUD more accessible, supporting those in need while enhancing wealth-building and homeownership opportunities for all Americans. As HUD leaders travel nationwide, engaging with local communities, they strive to create a brighter and more inclusive future, fostering a stronger nation that provides housing and economic opportunities to every individual.