Author: Dyhouse, Tim
Date published: March 1, 2012
From mid-2009 to the end of 2011, more than 33,000 homeless veterans used government vouchers to acquire housing, according to VA. I ? addition, the joint voucher program between VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development- HUD-VASH- hopes to garner enough funds to issue another 30,000 vouchers through 2014.
VA reported in December 201 1 that veterans homelessness had dropped 12%. This was based on a "one-night count" of 76,329 homeless vets on asingle night in January 2010 compared to 67,495 in January 2011.
VA's National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans said the numbers were gathered by teams in 432 communities nationwide, according to a Washington Post article.
VA estimates that more than 20,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets have been homeless at some point during the past five years.
Vouchers are available to homeless vets on a first-come, first-served basis. But even so, those selected must wait four months to a year, depending on how much paperwork is required.
The voucher system requires vets to pay 30% of their income to rent, and the voucher covers the rest. Each voucher costs the government $6,500 annually, plus $4,148 in case management services.
VA says it regularly reviews voucher recipients to make sure they continue to qualify based on income and health care needs.
For more information about VA's voucher program, access http://www. va.gov/HOMELESS/HUD-VASH.asp.