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HUD News: A Major Update to HUD-VASH

This news item comes directly from HUD. 

On March 19, HUD announced a new, optional flexibility for PHAs administering the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

Together, the Department, PHAs, and HUD partners at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have made enormous progress over the past 15 years, reducing veterans’ homelessness by more than 50 percent since 2010. This is a remarkable achievement built on a lot of hard work. The HUD-VASH program has been a critical resource in this effort.

Under the HUD-VASH program, the VA provides the referrals of eligible veterans and provides ongoing services for participating veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs), community-based outreach clinics (CBOCs), through VA contractors, or through other VA-designated entities. PHAs issue the HUD-VASH vouchers to eligible veterans, execute the housing assistance payment (HAP) contracts, and administer the vouchers.

The VA, in collaboration with HUD, has previously established a process for designated service providers (DSPs) to act in the place of the VA for the purpose of intake, referral, and case management in the HUD-VASH program. This is done through the VA’s HUD-VASH Collaborative Case Management Model (CCM). More information can be found at HUD-VASH Collaborative Case Management with Designated Service Provider Application Process – VA Homeless Programs. The DSP has typically been a Continuum of Care (CoC)-funded service provider in the community already working with this population.

However, with the continued growth of the HUD-VASH program, the Department and the VA recognized an additional opportunity to more efficiently utilize all available HUD-VASH vouchers by updating the HUD-VASH Operating Requirements to authorize PHAs to serve in the role of DSP for Veteran selection, intake, and temporary case management.

The materials detailing how PHAs may apply to become a DSP for this purpose have just been published and can be found at Public Housing Agencies as HUD-VASH Designated Service Providers – VA Homeless Programs.

Becoming a DSP enables your PHA to help the eligible veterans in your community move more efficiently from homelessness into stable, affordable housing, improve your overall utilization of HUD-VASH vouchers, and push your community closer to the goal of ending veterans’ homelessness.

It is important for PHAs to note that serving as a DSP is voluntary and no additional HUD funding will be provided to PHAs choosing to take on the role.

As Secretary Fudge says often, no one should be without a place to call home, least of all those who have served our country. Thank you for all your great work to help our nation’s veterans, and if the Department staff can be of any help to you in this effort, please do not hesitate to reach out at: VASH@hud.gov.

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