Veterans in need of housing receive assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or HUD-VASH, program. Veterans can apply through the homeless program in the local VA office or ask a case manager from another VA or community program for a referral.
The HUD-VASH program provides rental assistance and case management for homeless veterans. To be eligible, veterans must be homeless according to the definition in the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009. They must also participate in case management, supportive services, recommendations for treatment and any other assistance they need to maintain recovery and keep their housing. Primary candidates for the program are veterans who are most vulnerable, including women, the disabled, and those recently returning from combat or suffering serious mental illness or substance abuse.
The HUD-VASH program helps single veterans and those with families find permanent housing, but for a family to receive assistance, the veteran must reside with them. The local Public Housing Authority assesses whether veterans meet the criteria for housing assistance, including income limits, and the local VA assesses the clinical eligibility of the applicants. Veterans must have the physical and mental ability to take care of themselves and fulfill the requirements of recommended treatment.