So, You Wanna House Homeless Veterans
Posted February 16, 2023
Are you a landlord, housing developer, nonprofit organization, or a member of the public interested in providing housing opportunities to Veterans? If so, we’re here to help you discover which VA program will be most effective in helping you support Veterans experiencing homelessness.
The various programs at VA serve different functions, with some supporting existing nonprofits and service providers, and others supporting landlords and property owners who can assist individual Veterans in need of safe, permanent housing. When we house Veterans, we don’t simply provide shelter. Housing Veterans can lead to life-changing health, social, and socioeconomic outcomes for them and their families. We are eager to work with you and find ways to assist you with giving back to those who have served.
Learn about three of VA’s homeless programs that can provide support to those who are ready and willing to help house homeless Veterans.
Immediate Shelter – Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program
What is HCHV?
The HCHV program initially served as a way to contract with providers for community-based residential treatment for homeless Veterans. Today, many HCHV programs serve as a hub for a variety of housing and other services that provide VA with a way to reach and assist homeless Veterans by offering them entry to VA care.
The HCHV’s Contracted Residential Services (CRS) program provides funding to local VA Medical Centers, or VAMCs, which contract with community-based agencies to provide short-term residential treatment to Veterans who need immediate housing placement.
What is the goal of HCHV CRS?
The central goal of HCHV CRS is to provide immediate shelter to Veterans with serious mental health diagnoses or other clinical needs and support them as they transition from short-term transitional housing into quality, community-based supportive housing.
Who is the ideal partner for HCHV CRS?
HCHV CRS contracts are for agencies that are well-established in the community, who already have experience, and are prepared to provide emergency shelter to individuals who need housing.
How do I get started working with HCHV?
Entities can learn more about providing these services to homeless Veterans by contacting their local VAMC and speaking with the HCHV CRS liaison or homeless services coordinator.
Additionally, if you are a nonprofit organization, please visit www.sam.gov for a list of contract opportunities.
Transitional Housing – Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program
What is GPD?
The GPD program is VA’s largest transitional housing program for Veterans experiencing homelessness. Since 1994, the GPD program has awarded grants to community-based organizations to provide transitional housing with supportive services to assist vulnerable Veterans with moving into permanent housing. The grants are designed to meet Veterans at various stages as they move to stable housing.
Community-based organizations receiving GPD grants offer transitional housing services through a variety of housing models targeted to different populations and needs of Veterans. The GPD program plays a vital role in the continuum of homeless services by providing supportive services to those Veterans who would otherwise be among the unsheltered homeless population.
What is the goal of GPD?
The goal of the transitional housing component of GPD is to prepare Veterans for permanent housing by promoting the development and delivery of supportive housing and services and increasing their skills and/or income, and obtain greater self-determination.
Who may apply to become a GPD grantee?
An entity is eligible to apply if it is a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit organization, state or local government agency, or federally recognized Indian Tribal government.
How do I get started working with GPD?
Applications are only accepted during an active grant round after a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is announced. Current announcements, open NOFOs (if available), and lists of current GPD awards are available on our GPD website and are published at grants.gov. Funding is competitive, and applications are scored by subject matter experts.
Contact the GPD team with questions at GPDgrants@va.gov.
Permanent Housing – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
What is HUD-VASH?
HUD-VASH is a collaborative program that pairs HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance with VA case management and supportive services for homeless Veterans.
What is SSVF?
Similar to HUD-VASH, SSVF provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran’s home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance.
What are the goals of HUD-VASH and SSVF?
HUD-VASH and SSVF services are designed to help homeless Veterans and their families find and sustain permanent housing and access the health care, mental health treatment, substance use counseling, and other supports necessary to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community.
Rental assistance payments that homeless Veterans receive when they participate in these programs are disbursed from either:
- Public housing authorities administering HUD-VASH vouchers as a part of HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program.
- Nonprofit organizations that administer VA-funded grants through SSVF.
It’s important to note that VA does not make direct payments to landlords or developers.
Who is the ideal partner for HUD-VASH or SSVF?
Landlords who own property (including a house of your own, apartment complex, development of multifamily homes, etc.) and property managers trying to fill vacant units are ideal candidates for both HUD-VASH and SSVF. Developers who want project space may also be a good fit.
Also, note that VA does not currently have the authority to fund the development of permanent housing.
How do I get started working with HUD-VASH or SSVF?
To prepare for working with HUD-VASH, ensure that your unit will pass the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate, or NSPIRE, inspection. Then, contact the local public housing authority to share information about upcoming unit vacancies. You can also find general resources for landlords participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program here.
For both HUD-VASH and SSVF, learn more about how landlords can support the work of ending Veteran homelessness
Learn about VA Programs
- If you are a Veteran who is homeless or at risk for homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
- Visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.
- Check out the Ending Veteran Homelessness podcast to learn more about what VA is doing about Veteran homelessness.
- For more stories like these, subscribe to the Homeless Programs Office newsletter to receive monthly updates about programs and supportive services for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.