The Biden administration announced Thursday sweeping new actions to help prevent and reduce veteran homelessness across the country, including efforts to quickly rehouse homeless Americans.
According to a White House facts sheet, other actions will include awarding $11.5 million to public and nonprofit organizations through its new Legal Services for Veterans Grant Program and awarding more than $58 million in grant funding to help veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness reintegrate into the labor force, including homeless women veterans, homeless veterans with children, and justice-involved veterans.
“In 2022, we set a goal of permanently housing 38,000 veterans by the end of calendar 2022. Through the hard work of the administration, including with our interagency partners, dedicated VA employees and advocates all over the nation. In fact, we permanently housed more than 40,000 veterans,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough told reporters. “We set the same goal of 38,000 again this year for calendar 2023. And we are on track to meet if not exceed that goal once again.”
The $11.5 million in legal services grants is a “first-of-its-kind,” according to the White House, and will help veterans obtain representation in landlord-tenant disputes as well as assist with other court proceedings like child support, custody or estate planning.
HUD and VA are launching a series of “Boot Camps” to help public housing agencies and VA Medical Centers improve their processes to improve the timing it takes to transition veterans from homelessness to permanent housing with wrap-around supportive services.
According to the VA, there were over 40,401 homeless veterans put into permanent housing last year with 2,443 of them returning to homelessness at some point that same year.
President Joe Biden has proposed his Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, which includes investments to address as well as prevent homelessness. Some of the proposed measures include housing vouchers; emergency rental assistance; increasing the supply of affordable housing; and establishing a guarantee of rental assistance for extremely low-income veterans.