Federal Grants for Veteran Housing Assistance Coming to Massachusetts

On Wednesday, October 3, HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced new grants to reduce veteran homelessness as well as funding for a pilot program that helps disabled veterans make home modifications for greater accessibility.

“Assisting homeless Veterans to gain access to housing helps them in every aspect of their lives,” said VA Secretary Wilkie. “This joint effort ensures that the federal government’s efforts are aligned in reducing homelessness and aiding veterans. VA and HUD are proud to be teammates in a program that makes a tangible improvement in the lives of the nation’s Veterans.”

Federal officials will allocate $35 million the HUD-VASH program to 212 public housing authorities across the country to provide permanent housing for over 4,000 homeless veterans. Massachusetts will receive 61 vouchers, which will be provided to local housing authorities in Boston, Cambridge, Barnstable, Chelmsford, and Milton. The state will also receive ten vouchers.

The HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance with case management. Since 2008, approximately 150,000 homeless veterans have been served through the program. Veterans participating in the program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.

The HUD and VA Secretaries also announced $7.4 million though the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program. Program grantees can use funds to make necessary physical modification to address the adaptive housing needs, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for a veteran’s family member.  Revitalize Community Development Corporation in Springfield and Veterans, Inc. in Worcester both received awards.