May 2013 Archive
By Barbara Poppe, USICH Executive Director
I recently participated in the National Summit on Women Veterans Homelessness in Chicago sponsored by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF). As summit organizers explained, “women represent an important and growing segment of the Veterans’ community, and the post-service challenges facing many of the nation’s 1.8 million female Veterans can be formidable.”
Participants included a representative group of program practitioners, advocates, researchers, policy experts from USICH, HHS, and VA, and female Veterans with firsthand experience of homelessness. We spent a day and a half together exploring what we know about homelessness among female Veterans and interventions that prevent and solve homelessness for this population. IVMF plans to publish a white paper, Recommendations on Prevention and Interventions to End Women Veteran Homelessness, which will be disseminated through federal, state and local networks.
Project-based vouchers are a powerful tool that can be used to create and sustain a homeless response system in any community. Housing Authorities are allowed to convert up to 20 percent of their Housing Choice budget authority into vouchers that are attached to a project. By attaching the voucher to the project, developers can depend on a steady stream of operating subsidy at market rate rents – while serving households who typically have extremely low incomes. This level of subsidy serves as a real incentive for developers to create permanent supportive housing. HUD has given Housing Authorities quite a bit of flexibility in designing local criteria for the award of project-based vouchers. In Houston’s case, we have determined that project-based vouchers are a powerful tool that can be used in the fight to end homelessness. We are leveraging this tool by creating a preference for developers who are serving those experiencing homelessness and providing permanent supportive housing so tenants can be successful in their transition from living on the streets or in their cars to living in a home of their own.
HUD Announces second round of Continuum of Care grants, expanding support for more than 500 agencies across the country
Yesterday HUD announced $72 million in second round Continuum of Care (CoC) grants to over 500 local organizations serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The $72 million in grants announced support a wide range of programs including street outreach, client assessment, and direct housing assistance. In March, HUD awarded more than $1.5 billion in a first round of grant funding to renew support for more than 7,000 other local programs. HUD will make a third round of funding to support selected new projects later this year. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
“We know these modest investments in housing and serving our homeless neighbors not only saves money, but saves lives,” said Donovan. “These local programs are on the front lines of the Obama Administration’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness as we know it once and for all.”
We encourage you to take a look at the organizations in your state that received funding. You can access the full list of grants from HUD’s press release here.