Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides an overview of important information related to Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). For more detailed guidance, please select Additional Information.
The HUD-VASH Program combines the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at its medical centers and in the community.
HUD-VASH assists homeless veterans and their families afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing through the distribution of housing vouchers. Beneficiaries are selected based on certain requirements including health care eligibility, homelessness status, and income. Since 2008, beneficiaries are no longer required to be chronically mentally ill or have chronic substance abuse disorders. However, chronically homeless veterans are a target population for HUD-VASH.
For FY2009, 132 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) and 137 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) were identified and selected to participate in the HUD-VASH program. Each VAMC is partnered with at least one PHA and there is at least one VAMC-PHA partnership in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Specific VAMCs and PHAs were selected based on geographical need for assistance (as identified by the VA Secretary), PHA administrative performance, and other factors determined by the HUD Secretary in consultation with the VA Secretary.
The number of vouchers distributed to each PHA was determined by HUD and the VA.
In 2008, Congress made available $75 million to fund 10,000 HUD-VASH vouchers and funded an additional 10,000 vouchers in 2009. Approximately 35 rental vouchers were awarded for each professional, full-time HUD-VASH case manager at a local VAMC. HUD-VASH vouchers may be reallocated in the future based on need and usage.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (PHA)
HUD-VASH is modeled after the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) where participants are issued a voucher, which they use to search for housing to rent from private-market landlords. Participants typically pay between 30 to 40 percent of their income toward rent and the local PHA pays the difference directly to the landlord. Before the participant moves in, the PHA must inspect the unit to ensure it meets HUD's Quality Standards (HQS), and the monthly rent for the unit must meet the fair-market rent (FMR) and local rent reasonableness standards.
Project-Based Rental Assistance (PHA)
According to guidance released in March 2009 by HUD, PHAs, with the support of the partner VAMC, may request that vouchers be project-based allowing PHAs to attach the voucher assistance to specific rehabilitated or newly constructed housing units or to set aside a portion of units in an existing housing development. The PHA enters into an assistance contract with the owner of the specified units for a specified term. The owner agrees to construct or rehabilitate the units, and the PHA agrees to subsidize the units upon satisfactory completion.
Screening and Case Management Services (VAMC)
VAMC responsibilities include: 1) screening homeless veterans to determine whether they meet the HUD-VASH program participation criteria established by the VA national office; 2) providing appropriate treatment and supportive services to potential HUD-VASH program participants (if needed, prior to PHA issuance of rental vouchers); 3) providing housing search assistance to HUD-VASH participants with rental vouchers; 4) identifying the social service and medical needs of HUD-VASH participants and providing, or ensuring the provision of, regular ongoing case management, outpatient health services, hospitalization, and other supportive services as needed throughout this initiative; and 5) maintaining records and providing information for evaluation purposes, as required by HUD and the VA.
HUD-VASH vouchers may be used to provide rental assistance to eligible homeless veterans and their families. Vouchers are generally tenant-based. However, on a case-by-case basis, project-based vouchers may be used. (For more information, review the "Program Components" section.)
Funds may also be used to cover PHA administrative costs related to the HUD-VASH program.
HUD-VASH housing assistance vouchers may be used in conjunction with available Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) funds. Available HPRP funds may be used to cover security deposits, including utility deposits.
Requirements and Responsibilities
Homeless veterans and their families receiving HUD-VASH rental assistance must receive VA case management services until the VAMC determines that it is no longer necessary.
PHAs must maintain records that make it easy to identify and track all HUD-VASH voucher recipients. Families must be identified in the Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC). Record-keeping will help ensure that, in accordance with appropriations renewal language, HUD-VASH vouchers that are in use will remain available for homeless veterans upon turnover.
With some exceptions, all regulatory requirements and HUD directives regarding the HCV tenant-based program are applicable to HUD-VASH vouchers, including the use of all HUD-required contracts and other forms.
For more detailed information about HUD-VASH, please visit the following sources: