In a continuing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces $29.3 million to 216 local public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to provide a permanent home to veterans experiencing homelessness. 

Citrus County was recently awarded 28 permanent supportive Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. This is the largest amount of vouchers Citrus County has received in a calendar year.

A component of the HCV program, the HUD-VASH vouchers enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market. These vouchers are critical tools in helping communities effectively end homelessness among veterans.

Over the past year, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 2% and has dropped by nearly 50% since the HUD-VASH program was created in the early 1990’s.

Citrus County Housing Services, will be partnering with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Tampa, who will assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to housing services for a permanent supportive housing voucher. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30% of their income toward rent.

“Citrus County was first awarded HUD-VASH vouchers in 2016 and have since been awarded a total of 52 vouchers in an effort to end chronic homelessness among veterans in our county,” ssaid Tammy Harris, Housing Services director.

For more information on this program and others, call 352-527-7520.

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