Palm Springs, CA
The Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to prevent and reduce homelessness among veterans that include launching supportive services to quickly rehouse veterans experiencing homelessness; providing new legal services for veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness; and funding programs to help veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness find jobs and connect to work. The Administration says it will also invest an unprecedented $3.1 billion to help communities across the country quickly rehouse people experiencing homelessness, including veterans.
These actions the President says build upon historic investments by the Biden-Harris administration to address veteran homelessness that they say have driven historic reductions in homelessness amongst veterans. Today the number of veterans experiencing homelessness have fallen by 11% since early 2020 and by more than 55% since 2010. They will also advance the Administration’s goal to permanently house at least 38,000 veterans in 2023. Specifically, the Administration says it is:
- Making the single largest investment in communities’ homelessness response systems in history. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity to provide approximately $3.1 billion under the Continuum of Care (CoC) program—the largest-ever single-year investment through this program to help communities address homelessness. The funds will support efforts by nonprofit providers, States, Indian Tribes or Tribally Designated Housing Entities, and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals; families; veterans and their families; persons fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and youth while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness. The program will also promote access to and effective utilization of affordable housing programs and other health and supportive services by homeless individuals and families. HUD is strongly encouraging CoCs to work and coordinate with local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers, to ensure these funds are effectively supporting veterans and their families.
- Providing first-of-its-kind funding for legal services for veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding $11.5 million to public and nonprofit organizations through its new Legal Services for Veterans Grant Program. Funds will support veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including providing legal representation to help prevent eviction and helping veterans obtain public benefits for which they are eligible.
- Connecting veterans experiencing homelessness with jobs. The Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is awarding more than $58 million in grant funding to help veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness reintegrate into the labor force, including homeless women veterans, homeless veterans with children, and justice-involved veterans. These grants have helped train and place homeless veterans in in-demand sectors such as advanced manufacturing, construction, information technology, and cybersecurity. Grants are locally designed and tailored to the service area, giving America’s veterans experiencing homelessness the ability to reach their full employment potential and obtain high-quality career outcomes.
- Launching new effort to quickly rehouse veterans. HUD and VA are launching a series of “Boot Camps” to help public housing agencies and VA Medical Centers improve their processes and more quickly transition veterans from homelessness to permanent housing with wrap-around supportive services under the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. These Boot Camps will seek to improve program efficiency, impact, and utilization of the HUD-VASH program, which pairs rental assistance with vital case management and supportive services. Increasing the use of housing vouchers like HUD-VASH and the Emergency Housing Voucher Program to address homelessness is one of HUD’s key strategies under All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. HUD also recently issued guidance to public housing agencies on ways they can support efforts to address homelessness using all of their programs, including public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers.
The administration says President Biden’s American Rescue Plan represented the largest single-year investment in ending homelessness in U.S. history and helped prevent a surge of homelessness across the country. Earlier this year, HUD released a series of grants totaling $486 million, as well as approximately 3,300 housing stability vouchers to help 62 communities address unsheltered and rural homelessness and homeless encampments. And, in May, the Biden-Harris Administration launched ALL INside, a new initiative to address unsheltered homelessness in selected communities.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget also proposes investments to prevent homelessness, through additional housing vouchers; emergency rental assistance; increasing the supply of affordable housing; and establishing a guarantee of rental assistance for extremely low-income veterans and youth aging out of foster care—two groups disproportionately at risk of and experiencing homelessness.