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Renton receives more HUD vouchers for veterans

Renton Reporter - 1/4/2020

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has added more vouchers to Renton folks in need, this time for our local veterans.

The department will be issuing 67 HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, at $733,972, to the Housing Authority of King County, and five vouchers, at $63,522, to Renton Housing Authority. This means up to 71 veterans can get permanent housing in the private market.

In total, Washington received over half of the HUD-VASH vouchers, at 265 of the 491, awarded in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington state to 22 housing authorities. According to a HUD press release, these vouchers have supported 7,000 veterans to get affordable housing in these states.

The HUD-VASH awards in HUD Region 10 were part of a national announcement by HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie of a total of $29.3 million in HUD-VASH Vouchers to 216 public housing authorities across the country, to provide rental assistance to an additional 3,300 military veterans.

The latest awards also expanded the program to 37 public housing authorities in the U.S. The vouchers are a resource for local communities, like Renton, to end homelessness in our veterans.

As part of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, HUD-VASH has helped veterans since 2008 find homes. According to the release, veterans experiencing homelessness dropped 50 percent since its creation. Over the last year, it has decreased another two percent. In total, HUD-VASH has awarded over 100,000 vouchers and served 170,000 veterans. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH vouchers rent privately-owned housing and contribute less than 30 percent of their income toward rent.

"There may be no other group more worthy of receiving assistance to insure that they have a safe, affordable place to call home," HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Jeff McMorris stated in a press release. "They have done their duty to us and HUD-VASH is part of our duty to them."

The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides, and the comprehensive case management that VA Medical Centers staff offers. In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, including how long they've been homeless and the need for longer, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.

"President Trump has made ending veteran homelessness a priority and with his leadership we have continued to see it decline. Our nation's veterans have given so much for our country and freedom," HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated in a press release. "It is our duty to make certain every single veteran has a place they can call home."

"President Trump remains committed to using every tool at our disposal to help veterans exit homelessness and remain in stable housing," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie stated in a press release. "HUD-VASH has been critical to the nearly 50 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2010 and is proof that the federal government and local agencies are capable of solving complex problems together."

Here's the list of awarded vouchers for Washington:

Seattle Housing Authority$519,480, 60 vouchers

•Housing Authority of King County$733,972, 67 vouchers

•Housing Authority of City of Tacoma$180,780, 25 vouchers

•Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver$385,740, 50 vouchers

•Housing Authority of City of Renton —$63,522, five vouchers

•Housing Authority of City of Pasco and Franklin County$89,203, 13 vouchers

•Housing Authority of Snohomish County$219,528, 20 vouchers

•Housing Authority of City of Yakima$45,870, 10 vouchers

•Housing Authority of City of Walla Walla$25,980, five vouchers

•Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee$25,058, five vouchers

•Housing Authority of Okanogan County$23,195, five vouchers

•Washington state total — $2,312,328, 265 vouchers