HUD awards Montana Department of Commerce $141,683 to provide permanent housing for 35 homeless veterans in Montana

Helena, MT – May 5, 2008 – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Regional Director John Carson announced today the Montana Department of Commerce will receive $141,683 to provide permanent supportive housing for 35 homeless veterans in Montana.

“This program is a vital boost to the effort to provide housing for homeless veterans in Montana,” said John Carson.

HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) is providing approximately 10,000 rental assistance vouchers to 129 local public housing agencies to assist homeless veterans. In addition, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and HUD will link local public housing agencies with VA Medical Centers to provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans.

HUD will allocate the housing vouchers to local public housing agencies across the country that are specifically targeted to homeless veterans based on a variety of factors, including the number of reported homeless veterans and the proximity of a local VA Medical Center with the capacity to provide case management.

HUD will provide housing assistance through its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program which allows participants to rent privately owned housing. The VA will offer eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Last year, VA provided health care to more than 100,000 homeless veterans and other services to over 60,000 veterans in its specialized homeless programs. The Bush Administration’s proposed FY 2009 Budget seeks to double the amount of funding announced today to provide an additional $75 million to support the housing and service needs of an additional 10,000 homeless veterans across America.

Local communities or “Continuums of Care” that receive HUD homeless assistance will work with local VA Medical Centers to identify eligible participants. The VA will then screen homeless veterans to determine their eligibility. Those eligible vets will receive treatment and regular case management to retain the voucher. VA Medical Center case managers will also work closely with local housing agencies to help participants find suitable housing. Participating local housing agencies will also determine income eligibility in accordance to HUD regulations for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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