HUD-VASH is a long term case management program for homeless veterans who need case management services to ensure stability. HUD-VASH is funded through a partnership between the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). The Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program staff provide case management services designed to resolve current homelessness and prevent future episodes of homelessness. HUD provides a Housing Choice Voucher, which enables the veteran to obtain affordable housing.For additional information or to apply, please visit the West Texas VA Health Care website at http://www.bigspring.va.gov/.
Who is Eligible to Participate?
HUD-VASH is designed to support eligible homeless Veterans who need ongoing case management in order to be successful with independent community living.
In order to participate in the HUD-VASH program, candidates must be VA health care eligible Veterans, homeless, and have a clinical need for and willingness to participate in case management. Veterans in transitional housing or residential treatment programs who were homeless prior to entering those programs are also eligible.
HUD requirements prevent vouchers being issued to the Veteran family if the household income exceeds certain limits or if anyone living in the Veteran’s household is required to register on a Lifetime Sex Offender Registry.
The voucher can only be issued to the Veteran, but is designed to allow the Veteran to live with family members.
How are Veterans referred?
Any VA clinician or community service provider may refer Veterans for the program. Veterans may also refer themselves. Veterans will be screened for the program, to ensure eligibility and clinical need.
Homeless Veterans not currently working with a VA clinician should contact the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Outreach Specialist or a Social Worker at the VA Medical Center to discuss available housing support options, including the HUD-VASH program.
The HUD-VASH Program was originally started in 1992, with a relatively small number of vouchers issued nationwide. West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring, Texas received 70 vouchers that permitted veterans the opportunity to receive permanent supportive housing services.
What is the HUD-VASH Program?
The HUD-VASH program is a partnership between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) designed to provide case management and supportive services along with subsidized housing vouchers for eligible homeless Veteran families.
The HUD-VASH program allows eligible Veteran families to obtain safe, affordable, accessible, permanent housing in a location of their choice. The primary goal of the program is to help move Veterans and their families out of homelessness and provide support to sustain these Veteran families residing in the community.
The “Housing Choice” Vouchers are administered through a local Public Housing Authority (PHA). Ongoing case management is provided as needed by qualified staff affiliated with a local VA medical facility.
Case management is central to the HUD-VASH Program and is a requirement for continuing participation, even after the Veteran is housed.
Veterans must follow the rules of the PHA and landlord to sustain their housing.
Where can the Voucher be Used?
HUD-VASH Vouchers can be used to subsidize rental units from any landlord willing to accept a Section-8 housing voucher and work with the partnering Public Housing Authority. Vouchers are also portable, within specific limitations.
What does the Case Manager do?
Case managers work in partnership with Veteran participants to provide support and assistance to promote stability, housing permanence, and recovery. Case management will last as long as it is needed by the Veteran.
The case manager can assist with things such as:
- Obtaining PHA required documentation
- Resolving credit problems
- Support during the PHA process
- Locating the apartment
- Planning the move
- Money management
- Connecting with the community
- Monitoring health and stability
- Supporting recovery
- Referring to indicated treatment, assistance services, or other family services
The case manager will work with the Veteran to establish recovery and housing goals. The case manager will meet with the Veteran individually in the office, as well as in the Veteran’s home. Group meetings may be offered as well to provide peer support and develop community.
The case manager may determine at some point (in agreement with the Veteran) that case management is no longer needed. When this occurs, Veterans may graduate from this part of the program. The Veteran family may continue to live in their home utilizing a PHA-provided “Housing Choice” voucher as long as it is needed (either HUD-VASH or a newly issued voucher).
What Cost is Involved?
Veterans must pay a portion of the monthly rent directly to the landlord. This is equal to 30-40% of their gross monthly income, with a minimum rent of $50/mo. The housing authority pays the remaining portion of the rent.
Security Deposits, along with any other up front fees, are the responsibility of the Veteran. Some community resources may be available to assist with these expenses.
Other incidental and monthly expenses should also be planned for, such as:
● Food & transportation
● Household supplies
● Basic home furnishings
● Phone, cable, internet, etc.
What about standard Section-8
Housing Choice Vouchers?
As part of the PHA application process, Veterans may also have their name placed on the wait list for standard Section-8 housing. Unfortunately, these wait lists can quite long. Eligible Veteran families may participate in HUD-VASH while waiting for a standard Section 8 voucher to become available.
What do I Need to Get Started?
Most PHAs require the following documents for all family members:
- Photo ID for all adults
- Birth Certificate for children ages 0-18
- Social Security Cards for everyone
- Proof of income/assets
- Proof of custody for divorced/ separated parents