The Veterans Administration Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) is a collaborative project by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The veterans housing assistance program aids veterans and their families in finding a home. Also, veterans that are a part of the program receive other benefits, such as mental health care, counseling and more.
For veterans to receive VASH program benefits, they must meet certain conditions. For instance, one of the most important requirements veterans must satisfy to take advantage of this program is to be experiencing homelessness. Additionally, veterans must submit an application and be approved for the program in order to receive these benefits. Learn about HUD-VASH, requirements to join and how veterans who are eligible can apply today.
What is HUD-VASH?
HUD-VASH is a program that offers rental assistance for veterans and their families. The goal of VASH housing is to end veteran homelessness and provide those who have served this country with the help and services they need to live independently. In this way, the program is similar to Section 8, which is also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
The HUD and the VA award HUD-VASH vouchers to VA facilities based on which areas of country have the highest number of homeless veterans. Public housing agencies (PHAs) near the areas with the most veterans can apply to receive vouchers. Once housing agencies obtain the vouchers, veterans in the program can apply to live in an available unit.
Additionally, HUD housing for veterans provides individuals that are a part of the program with case management and clinical services. The services assist veterans in obtaining and sustaining permanent housing. Also, veterans will receive services to improve their quality of life. HUD-VASH provides veterans who are part of the program with:
- Health care.
- Mental and physical health treatment.
- Substance use counseling.
Providing health care and treatment allows veterans to get the help they need while receiving housing assistance. For instance, a veteran that is battling a drug addiction now has shelter to live in and is receiving the proper services to improve his or her health. The program aims to improve the quality of lives for veterans, so they are healthy and can live independently.
Also, the homes for veterans program connects every applicant with a caseworker. These caseworkers assist families in creating a housing plan. They will set personal goals, as well as different ways to create a stable home. Furthermore, living with no source of income is difficult. If the veteran does not have work, the caseworker will help him or her to find a job.
HUD-VASH Eligibility Criteria
If you are a veteran who wants assistance with paying rent, that does not mean you are eligible to receive HUD-VASH benefits. There are certain requirements you must first meet in order to enter the program.
Veterans Must Be Homeless
One of the requirements for you to enter the program is that you must be homeless. The program considers you homeless if you meet the following criteria:
- You or your family does not have a secure home.
- You or your family sleep in an area not intended for individuals to sleep, such as a:
- Train station
- Camping ground
- You or your family is living in an area that is designed for temporary stay, such as:
- You or your family received a court order resulting from an eviction.
- You have no residency identified and lack resources to purchase a home.
If you do not meet any of the descriptions listed above, HUD-VASH does not consider you homeless. This will disqualify you from becoming part of the program.
Veterans Require Services
Additionally, applicants must require case management services in order to obtain and sustain independent community housing. Case management is one of the key components of the program, which is why the veterans housing assistance program targets vulnerable veterans. Applicants accepted often times have mental health problems, physical disorders or substance use issues. Additionally, due to the different services the program offers, veterans must complete the activities assigned to them. The tasks allow them to learn how to live independently in the community.
Note: For veterans and their families to be eligible for HUD-VASH, the veterans must be the individuals who require the casework. If a veteran does not need assistance and it is instead a family member who needs help, the family is not eligible.
How to Join HUD-VASH
If you are interested in receiving veteran housing assistance, contact your local VA Homeless Program. The VA facility will screen you and your family. This is to ensure you all meet the program’s standards.
When you pass the screening, you will receive a housing voucher and assistance from a HUD-VASH case manager. The caseworker will help you find a home within a reasonable distance from your local Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Being near a VAMC will allow you to receive treatment and other essentials you need to improve your quality of life.
Once you have found a location to live in, the HUD-VASH case manager will inspect the unit. He or she ensure the home meets appropriate standards for you to live in. If the case manager approves of the unit, you can move into your new home. You must remember that you are responsible for participating in case management and paying for the remaining of the rent not covered by the voucher.