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More than 100 veterans who have Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers were able to meet landlords, see available units, and sign leases thanks to a special event held May 15 by the District of Columbia Housing Authority, U.S. Veterans Administration, and District’s Department of Human Services.

The DCHA Veterans Housing Meet & Lease Event featured expedited pre-inspections and rental contract approvals for available units. This process cuts out months of waiting time and allows veterans to move in quickly, in some cases on the day they applied.

“The best way for us to honor those who served in our military is to make sure these veterans have safe homes for themselves and their families,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “The collaboration among these three agencies and the ‘Veterans Now!’ Initiative made this event a successful part of our continuing effort to house all of the District’s veterans.”

Earlier this spring, DCHA received more than $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its VASH voucher program – an increase of 104 vouchers to serve veterans and their families. This year’s allocation builds on the 930 VASH vouchers the authority had in place last year, bringing the total to 1,034 veteran families that can be assisted with affordable housing.

“We’re here today to ‘WRAP’ around Veterans--Warriors Receiving Assistance to Propel forward every day,” said D.C. VA Medical Center Director Mr. Brian A. Hawkins. “Homelessness and the risk of being homeless could affect anyone of us.  That’s why the staff at the D.C. VA Medical Center is working with the community to offer housing assistance, referrals, and resources.”

In addition to housing, DCHA also introduced veteran clients to an online tool that they can use to search for training, jobs, and other supportive services.

“No one who has served this country should have to experience homelessness in this country--especially in its capital city,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, director of the District Department of Human Services.  "Through the HUD-VASH program, we are connecting District veterans who have extremely intensive service needs to the basic foundation of a home, while offering them the supportive services they need to achieve stability. These critical investments will help us to ensure that homelessness among our veterans will be rare, brief and non-recurring.”

This event is just one example of the creative partnerships DCHA has launched to continue the national goal of housing all of our homeless veterans. Another example is construction of the new John and Jill Ker Conway Residence in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington, D.C. DCHA is providing more than $17 million in housing subsidy through 60 VASH and 17 Local Rent Supplement Program vouchers to support the $33 million, 124-unit mixed-income property that will provide housing and services for formerly homeless veterans at 1005 North Capitol Street, N.E.

 

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Veteran Porsche Williams holds keys to her new apartment.
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Landlords with pre-inspected and approved apartments explained features to prospective renters.
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Veterans met with landlords to find homes they would like to rent.
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Porsche Williams signs her new lease.
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Veterans attended several seminars to teach them about DCHA programs and services available to them.
Last modified: 5/15/2015 4:34:25 PM