The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) provided housing assistance to more than 80 homeless veterans who had the opportunity to sit down with landlords who have housing units already approved and pre-inspected by DCHA. A few of the veterans are moving in tonight, and, fittingly, most will move into their new housing the week following Memorial Day.

DCHA’s program serves as a national model in assisting homeless veterans to find permanent supportive housing assistance through a joint program of the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs. Called the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program, it is administered at the local level by Public Housing Authorities and VA Medical Centers.

“We have no higher mission than to end homelessness for those brave men and women who risked their lives to protect our nation,” said Adrianne Todman, Executive Director of the DC Housing Authority. “This program demonstrates the power of partnerships,” she adds. “The VA Medical Center provides supportive services and case management to our eligible homeless veterans. DCHA determines income eligibility, helps participants find suitable housing and inspects the housing to make sure it meets HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.”

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. “Today was about housing, it was about strengthening the community by giving back to the veterans who served us and our country. I am glad the VASH program has provided DC landlords the opportunity to give back to those who gave so much,” said Daniel Crosby, owner/realtor with the Metropolitan Sales Team.

As part of President Obama’s initiative to house homeless vets, DCHA recently received more than $1.5 million to add 150 more participants to its VASH program, bringing the total DC housing program to 744 veteran families and individuals. DCHA reduced the time for processing and approving veterans from the point of referral to handing out the keys to a home from 6 months to 1 month for participating veterans, which has made it a national model for both HUD and the VA.

“One out of every six men and women in our shelters once wore a uniform to serve our country,” said Marvin Turner, Director of the HUD DC Field Office. “But we know that by providing housing assistance and case management services, we can significantly reduce the number of veterans living on our streets. DCHA’s grant is part of $75 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2012 to help end homelessness for veterans, once and for all.”

Last modified: 12/29/2014 9:03:11 PM