Despite risking their lives to serve our country at home and abroad, many U.S. veterans who return from the military lack enough support to make a smooth transition into civilian life. In fact, 44% of veterans who have served during the last 10 years say re-entering civilian life was hard for them.
This difficulty can be due to post-traumatic stress disorder, a service-related disability and other reasons. Too often, this leads to veterans experiencing homelessness and untreated issues related to their physical and mental health.
If you are a veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and HUD want to ensure you have access to affordable housing and quality healthcare services.
To help accomplish this goal, these two agencies have teamed up to create the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.
Currently, over 90,000 veterans benefit from the HUD-VASH voucher program. The program helps both single veterans and veterans with families to afford housing.
The HUD-VASH program works pretty much like Section 8. You’ll receive a veterans housing voucher that you can use to cover part of the rent payment for a privately owned housing unit of your choice.
The biggest difference between HUD-VASH and the regular Section 8 program is that HUD-VASH focuses on veterans who are currently experiencing homelessness. The program not only provides housing assistance to these veterans but also helps connect them to health resources.
These resources include treatment for behavioral health, access to affordable healthcare and more. This program has a case management structure where each enrollee gets an initial assessment and then receives individualized support throughout their time in HUD-VASH.
To qualify for the HUD-VASH program, you must be:
- Eligible for VA health care services.
- Facing homelessness.
For the purposes of the program, the government defines homelessness according to the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which was amended recently. It gives a preference to veterans who are going through chronic homelessness, which includes having a disability.