HUD and VA to provide permanent homes for 40 Native American Veterans experiencing homelessness in Minnesota
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today awarded over $302,000 to offer a permanent home and supportive services to 40 Native American Veterans who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness in Cass Lake and White Earth, Minnesota. The Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (Tribal HUD-VASH) Program is a demonstration program that will combine critically needed rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA to serve 500 Native American Veterans nationwide.
HUD Secretary Julián Castro made the announcement in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the winter meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes.
"By targeting resources directly to tribes, we can better honor the service and sacrifice of Native American Veterans who now need a roof over their heads," - said Castro. "These heroes deserve hope for a brighter future and by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can work with Tribes to end veteran homelessness."
"Through our partnerships with Native American communities, we are opening doors of opportunity for veterans," - said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. "Providing safe and affordable housing is the first step toward accessing clinical services and case management resources to help our veterans achieve their goals."
"Numerous Native American veterans answered the call of duty when we needed them most and now we must do the same for them. This funding will make it possible to assist more veterans to obtain housing and bring us closer to our goal of ending veteran homelessness," - indicated Antonio R. Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator.
Last October, HUD invited 30 eligible tribes to seek Tribal HUD-VASH vouchers to help house and serve hundreds of Native American Veterans who are currently experiencing homelessness or at extreme risk of becoming homeless. Twenty-six tribes from Alaska to New Mexico will deliver and manage the housing vouchers among their members who need them on tribal lands.
Since 2008, more than 79,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 90,000 homeless Veterans have been served through the broader HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s Veterans. In FY2015, Congress authorized funding for a demonstration program in order to expand the HUD-VASH program into Indian Country and directed HUD to coordinate with Indian tribes, tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs), and other appropriate tribal organizations on the design of this program, and to ensure the effective delivery of housing assistance and supportive services to eligible Native American Veterans.
The Tribal HUD-VASH Program will provide rental assistance and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness living on or near a reservation or other Indian areas. HUD is making available $5.9 million in grant funding to Indian tribes and TDHEs to fund rental assistance and associated administrative fees. Indian tribes and TDHEs participating in this program will partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide healthcare assistance to eligible Native American Veterans.
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