WASHINGTON – Aug. 7, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that $7 million will go to 24 local public housing agencies across the country to help up to 1,000 homeless U.S. veterans find permanent housing.

The assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

In Florida, two housing programs will partner with local VA medical centers to distribute funds to about 90 vets. The largest portion goes to the Jacksonville Housing Authority that is partnering with VA medical Center: North Florida/Georgia VA HCS. It will receive $407,637 to supply 75 housing vouchers.

The second aid group is Pinellas County, which is partnering with VA Medical Center: Bay Pines VA HCS. It will receive $111,093 to pay for 16 vouchers.

Later this year, HUD anticipates awarding approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers. Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH. Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation's veterans.

"We have made great progress, reducing homelessness among veterans by 24 percent in just three years," says HUD Secretary Julián Castro. "These vouchers will help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to reach those in need."

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) work closely with homeless veterans before referring them to local housing agencies for vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®