Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) in Florida
Veterans housing assistance programs in Florida help provide housing stability to veterans affected by chronic homelessness due to mental illness or substance abuse. One HUD for veterans program is HUD-VASH, a combined initiative of the Veterans Administration (VA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created to meet the housing needs of habitually homeless veterans. Similar to the Section 8 application process for housing, the HUD housing program in FL offers rental assistance by issuing federally funded vouchers that cover a portion of a participating veteran’s rent payment. This VA and HUD housing program pays the subsidized portion of the rent directly to the landlord or property owner. It is a unique veterans housing assistance program that combines safe, stable housing with mental health, addiction and financial counseling programs to help end veteran homelessness in Florida. Veterans wondering, “What is the HUD VASH program, and can it help me and my family?” can find answers about the benefits of HUD-VASH and learn how to apply for the HUD-VASH program by studying the sections below.
Benefits of HUD-VASH
FL HUD-VASH benefits veterans and their family members by providing practical solutions to the problem of chronic veteran homelessness. HUD VASH eligibility requirements have enough flexibility to make this program possible for at-risk veterans, but the services provided with the programs can also help families make lifestyle changes to reach their goal of achieving housing stability. Flexibility extends to sobriety requirements, and participation in the program is open-ended; it has no set ending period. Veterans who receive HUD VASH benefits in FL must be recertified annually, and many veterans will improve so much on the program that they can eventually phase out of their need to participate in the HUD-VASH program.
To meet the ongoing HUD VASH eligibility requirements that are necessary to stay in the program, veterans receive VA case managers. Because the HUD housing program case manager facilitates communication and problem-solving between the veteran, the landlord and the local Public Housing Authority (PHA), HUD-VASH is an excellent program for veterans struggling with communication issues due to traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other conditions.
Another HUD VASH benefit is that veterans and their families have the freedom to choose their own rental unit, as long as it falls into the program’s standards for rental amount and housing quality. Veterans may also choose a Florida HUD housing program unit without worrying about remaining within close distance to their VA case manager, although looking for housing near a VA office is recommended for participants to continue receiving the benefits of a VA case manager.
Eligibility for HUD-VASH in Florida
The HUD VASH application process in Florida begins with a caseworker making sure that the veteran meets all HUD VASH eligibility requirements as detailed by the VA and the local PHA. Applicants for HUD VASH benefits must meet the definition of homelessness as defined by the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. The next requirement for HUD VASH eligibility is demonstrating a legitimate need for the program and a willingness to commit to the rules and requirements for participation. A primary part of this HUD for veterans in FL program includes the veteran being willing and able to pay a certain percentage of his or her monthly income toward rent, along with exceeding the income threshold.
To learn more about HUD-VASH eligibility for veterans, click here to download our comprehensive guide.
How to Apply for HUD-VASH
Veterans wondering how to apply for HUD VASH in Florida must call or visit their local VA Medical Center (VAMC) and ask to speak to a Homeless Coordinator. Many veterans first obtain HUD VASH benefit information while visiting a VAMC clinician or a Vet Center mental health counselor. Some community-based social service providers may also be able to provide veterans housing assistance application instructions.
HUD VASH approval is a two-part process, with the VA setting the clinical guidelines for participation, and the PHA enforcing HUD rules for each applicant to keep. After the VA screening for HUD VASH eligibility in FL, you will receive either an approval or denial of your application. If you are approved for HUD VASH benefits, you will receive a written referral letter to take to your local PHA. As the workers who administer the Florida HUD housing program locally, the PHA will screen you for participation according to HUD standards. If you pass their HUD VASH eligibility screening, you will find out if vouchers and housing units are currently available in your desired area of residence. The HUD VASH program only issues a limited number of HUD VASH vouchers to each Florida county. Because of this policy, you may have to add your name to an interest list, which is similar to the Section 8 waiting list process, and wait several months or more before being able to move into your new home. You may obtain information about the HUD VASH application process and ask for HUD VASH benefit information any time of the day or night by calling 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
To learn more about the HUD-VASH program, click here for our comprehensive guide.