How to Find Veteran Housing Programs
Military veterans are honorable American heroes. Their service allows civilians across the nation to enjoy safety and security. That’s why veterans deserve support once they return home.
Unfortunately, over 40,000 veterans are currently homeless. To address this problem, local and national organizations have developed several veteran housing programs. These programs serve as a small token of appreciation for the incredible sacrifice veterans make for our country.
Below, you’ll learn the details about some invaluable programs that offer veteran housing assistance.
How to Find Veteran Housing Programs
Here are some national veteran housing programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA):
#1 HUD-VASH Program
In conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the VA developed the HUD-VASH program. This program helps homeless veterans secure permanent housing with rental assistance vouchers.
These vouchers can be used towards renting out a single-family home, townhome, or apartment of the veteran’s choosing, as long as their landlord agrees. Fortunately, many landlords are happy to accept HUD-VASH veterans. They appreciate the added security that rental assistance vouchers provide. Even if the HUD-VASH veteran falls on financial hardship, they still have a reliable source of rent.
This program also gives qualifying veterans access to any treatment they need for their physical health, mental health, or substance abuse.
How to Apply for HUD-VASH
To apply for the HUD-VASH program, you must:
- Be eligible for VA health care services
- Be homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless
- Fit within the HUD income limitation (which is 50% of your area’s median income or less).
A dedicated case manager manages a veteran’s participation in the HUD-VASH program. These case managers help match veterans to a great home. They also assist with arranging movers, helping veterans enter relevant treatment programs, and much more.
#2 Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program
The SSVF program was created for veterans who already have a home, but who are at risk of losing it due to financial hardship.
This program’s goal is to help military veterans and their families find more affordable housing. These veterans will also receive SSVF funds, funded by nonprofits and grantees. SSVF funds can be used towards:
- Rental security deposits
- Moving expenses
With this financial support, veterans can find a sustainable living situation for them and their families.
How to Apply for SSVF
To be eligible for the SSVF program, you must meet be one of the following:
- A very low-income veteran with imminent risk of homelessness
- A veteran who is currently homeless
- A family member of a veteran who meets either of these criteria
If you fit any of these requirements, you can apply for SSVF with your case manager. They will match you to a specific nonprofit or grantee.
During the application process, you’ll need to prove veteran status with the proper documentation to receive housing assistance.
#3 Enhanced-Use Lease Program
A homeless veteran can take advantage of the Enhanced-Use Lease program. This program transforms VA campuses into affordable housing complexes. Veterans who live on these campuses enjoy convenient access to much-needed services, including:
- Computers and internet
- Job training
- Financial planning courses
- Haircuts and barbers
- Fitness centers
- Support groups
- Community gardens
With these services, homeless veterans can get back on their feet and find employment. Furthermore, VA campuses are usually located close to VA hospitals, enabling veterans to enjoy easy access to health care.
If you’re interested in moving to a VA campus, ask your case manager about the Enhanced-Use Lease program.
#4 Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program
Thanks to the GPD program, homeless veterans can secure short-term housing (up to 24 months). This program is funded by grants from the government and nonprofits. These grants give veterans the funds they need to hire a full-time case manager, who will work with them to find them employment and permanent housing.
This program also connects veterans to important social services, such as:
- Crisis intervention
With the GPD program’s support, veterans can build their independence and work towards a more permanent living situation.
VOASW: Veteran Housing San Diego
So far, the programs mentioned are available on a national level. However, if you’re a San Diego-based veteran, you can also take advantage of the housing programs from the Volunteers of America Southwest (VOASW).
Located in El Cajon, the VOASW’s Hawley Veteran Service Center is a place where homeless veterans enjoy affordable transitional housing, as well as:
- Computer access
- Job readiness and placement services
- Access to professional clothing
- Healthcare and mental health referrals
- Recreational areas
You’ve fought for us as a service member. So let VOASW fight for you and your wellbeing. To learn more about the Hawley Veteran Service Center, reach out to a VOASW member today.
HUD Exchange. Annual Homeless Assessment Report.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program.
- Eligibility for VA Health Care.
HUD Exchange. CPD Income Eligibility Calculator and Income Limits.
Volunteers of America. Supportive Services for Veteran Families.
- Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program Guide.
HUD Exchange. Homelessness Assistance Programs.
- Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL).
- Grant and Per Diem Program.