HUD announces rental, housing help for Delaware veterans in need

WILMINGTON — U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joseph J. DeFelice on Thursday announced the awarding of $83,607 in rental assistance and housing vouchers to help 10 veterans at risk of experiencing homelessness in Delaware.

The funding, part of the $46 million in grants awarded nationwide, is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

In Delaware, the Delaware State Housing Authority will receive $39,332 in funding to support housing for five veterans and the New Castle County Housing Authority will receive $44,275 to help with housing for an additional five veterans. Both agencies will receive supportive services by the Wilmington VA Medical Center.

A component of the Housing Choice Voucher program, the HUD-VASH vouchers being awarded enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market. These vouchers are critical tools in helping communities effectively end homelessness among veterans.

“Ending veteran homelessness has been a top priority for the Trump administration since Day One,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “We have an obligation to ensure that our nation’s veterans, who have given so much for our country, are not left out on the streets. They fought for us. Now, it’s time for us to fight for them.”

Mr. DeFelice said the program is a great success in Delaware.

“The HUD-VASH program is the driving force behind the decline in veteran homelessness, and in Delaware, one of only three states in the nation to have effectively ended veteran homelessness, it is a priority for those championing the First State’s efforts,” he said. “During this pandemic, it is critical that we provide a safety net for our most vulnerable populations — especially those who have honorably served our nation.”

Vincent Kane, director of the Wilmington VAMC, concurred.

“Wilmington VA is pleased to partner with the community and HUD and expand housing and services for our most vulnerable veterans,” he added. “Now more than ever, during this pandemic, we view supportive housing as essential to our mission of delivering safe and exceptional health care.”

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 — most importantly, the duration of homelessness and the need for longer-term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

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