August 3, 2016, by Brooke Chaplan – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an ambitious program of ending Veteran homelessness. Significant improvements have been made, and the results have shown that it is possible to end homelessness among the veterans in most cases. The VA began expanding its capacity after it realized that most veterans were experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. Veterans require affordable and stable housing so as to transition successfully from military service to civilian life. Those who are in the greatest need are the lower income veterans. Some veterans only need to access affordable housing to reduce the housing burden, and to be able to take care of other necessities. Some of the available options for a veteran to acquire their first house include the following.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grants
SAH grants provide monetary support to disabled veterans to complete home repairs and make it wheelchair user accessible. The home modifications are designed to make the veterans live independently despite any physical disability.
State Veterans Homes
All states operate state veterans homes that provide nursing, home care, adult day care, and shelter to the homeless and disabled veterans. Each state has the responsibility of formulating its eligibility criteria and the services to be provided. Some states do receive aid from VA to implement this program.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs provides help to many veterans looking for more stable homes. The assistance helps them to move out of transitional or emergency housing to more stable long-term housing. This kind of help is approved through the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH).
Supportive Services for Veteran Families(SSVF) Program
The VA’s SSVF Program provides grants to organizations that are keen on refocusing the homeless veteran families. The SSVF program uses the Housing First model to help veteran secure stable and permanent housing. Other types of assistance are provided, which include legal aid, health care, and credit counseling.
Enhanced Use Leases(EULs)
Enhanced Use Leases are given to excess VA owned land and buildings as areas for permanent and transitional supportive housing for veterans. EULs are provided for other purposes that advance Veteran’s mission.
The VA’s Grant and Per Diem Program
The Grant and Per Diem Program make available funds to the community organizations to serve the veterans. The agencies use a combination of capital grants and subsidy for housing and other supportive services.
The Veterans Affairs program is incapable of ending every homelessness problem among veterans alone. Everyone, including housing providers, Leading Edge Real Estate agents, landlords, and philanthropic groups should assist in ensuring that every veteran has a secure and permanent housing.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.