Nearly 1,000 Homeless Veterans Given Vouchers to Find Permanent Homes
Nearly 1,000 homeless veterans across the country were given vouchers worth $7 million by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find permanent housing. The money was given to 24 public housing agencies across the U.S.
The supportive housing assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA (see chart below).
In 2004, HUD is targeting to award approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers to build upon significant progress toward ending Veteran homelessness. Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly homeless Veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH. Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s Veterans.
“We have made great progress, reducing homelessness among Veterans by 24 percent in just three years,” said HUD SecretaryJulián Castro. “These vouchers will help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to reach those in need. Ending homelessness is a top priority for me, and HUD looks forward to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that every Veteran has a place to call home in the country they risked everything to protect.”
“VA, HUD and our federal, state and local partners should take pride in the progress made to reduce Veterans’ homelessness by 24 percent since 2010, but so long as there remains a Veteran that lives on our streets, we have more work to do,” said Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Interim Under Secretary for Health. “These HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our effort to provide our Veterans with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives.”
HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran homelessness by 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women.
As the former mayor of San Antonio, Secretary Castro was among the growing ranks of more than 180 mayors who joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015 by using federal, local, and nonprofit resources. Since 2010, the Obama Administration has reduced veteran homelessness by 24 percent. And while ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 is within reach, continued use of tools like HUD-VASH are central to reaching that goal.
In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) work closely with homeless veterans before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of the 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 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless Veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.
With awarding of the housing assistance vouchers, realtors are expecting more veterans and men from the service to relocate to their permanent house, particularly so-called men in uniform who are looking for dwelling spaces in urban locations across America mostly prefer to rent.
Veterans who are looking for their first homes could conduct their searches online. Nestbuilder.comis among the top property listings destination where they can search for licensed agents that can help them find their first dream home in the said cities.
The locations were chosen based on job growth, which mostly ranges between 1.5 percent (Minneapolis) and 4.2 percent (Austin) annually, and median home prices mostly ranging between $123,000 and $340,000 (Seattle). The cities were also chosen based on business climate, booming industries, and tendency to become a “millennial hotspot.”
Nestbuilder.com is a property listings site developed by Florida-based digital media company RealBiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ). Launched early this year, the website accommodates over 350,000 real estate agent accounts, not to mention 1.6 million video listings.
Each individual listing page on Nestbuilder.com features a professional virtual tour of the property with audio commentaries, an overview of the property and a map to pinpoint to buyers the property’s exact location. The page is also equipped with social media integration functionalities allowing agents and consumers to save the page for reading later or for friends and people within their network to see on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
The company’s mission is to empower agents with the right video marketing tools as homebuyer’s online shopping habits evolve. The company manages to achieve this through its roster of disruptive video technologies such as video content management system Microvideo App, its website-based marketing tool NestBuilder Agent, and its mobile video app called EzFlix.
The Microvideo App is a platform targeted at brokerage firms allowing brokers and their agents to collaborate in creating listing video microsites and executing marketing campaigns.
Nestbuilder Agent is a tool that is accessible through listing site Nestbuilder.com and allows agents to create professional agent profilesand virtual tours out of listing photos. These tours can be shared automatically to the agent’s network through social media platforms and email.
“It is gratifying to see our services being adopted by key players in the real estate industry,” said Realbiz Media CEO William Kerby.
RealBiz has access to the nation’s largest real estate companies with numerous approved vendors and national contracts, both key to its future development programs. When completed, the company is targeting distribution of its digital video network to more than 70 million households and an agent driven MicroVideo App program. For more information, please dial this toll free number at 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.