If you are a veteran and need help with rent, the Department of Veterans Affairs can help. Veterans face unique challenges during the transition back into civilian life. One of the biggest challenges is finding a job that supports the cost of living.
Rental assistance programs for veterans are designed to help prevent and end the all-too-common issue of homelessness among veterans. In fact, while veterans make up just 6% of the entire U.S. population, they comprise 8% of the overall homeless population.
Government rental assistance is available from both the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Also known as HUD-VASH, this program connects homeless veterans to affordable, safe housing as well as mental health counseling and other health care services.
Through HUD-VASH, you can get help with rent through housing vouchers, which you can use to cover a portion of your rental costs. Like Section 8, these vouchers can be used to find affordable housing units for single veterans or veterans with families.
To qualify for housing assistance through HUD-VASH, you must have served in the U.S. military. The program is tailored to veterans who are chronically homeless who may have severe physical, mental or substance abuse issues. These conditions cause veterans to be at the highest risk of homelessness.
You must also meet the following requirements:
- Currently receive or are eligible to receive VA healthcare.
- Meet the definition of “homeless” as defined by the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
o In short, you are considered homeless if you do not have a permanent dwelling to stay at night OR you sleep at homeless shelters or other places not designed for human residence.
There may be other program requirements determined by local PHAs. Contact your local PHA to inquire about additional requirements.
If you qualify for the HUD-VASH rental assistance program, you can also receive quality health care services from the VA. The goal of the program is to help veterans focus on their health rather than stress about paying for living expenses. These resources include services such as:
- Behavioral health treatment.
- Mental health treatment.
- Affordable healthcare.
All veterans receiving this emergency help with rent experience an individualized support structure. In other words, veterans work with HUD-VASH case managers to work on all aspects of their health so they can become self-sufficient.
Ready to apply for veteran rental assistance through HUD-VASH? You can contact your local VA Homeless Program or contact HUD-VASH directly to speak to a case manager.