After their hard work and sacrifice while serving the U.S., veterans return home in need of housing and assistance to re-enter into civilian life once again. There are different veteran housing assistance programs to help them find affordable permanent housing.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. And just in 2018, HUD has allocated more than 87,000 vouchers to help veterans find permanent housing across the U.S.
Another report showed that rental assistance programs, like public housing and section 8, has helped more than 340,000 low-income veterans, reducing homelessness within the group by 33 percent.
While the programs help veterans find a roof over their head, there's so much information to get through along with requirements and endless paperwork.
If you're a veteran looking for housing assistance, read on as we break down the programs available and application requirements.
Plus, once you receive housing assistance, what to discuss with your landlord, your tenant rights as a veteran and questions to ask while looking for a unit.
First, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) provides veterans who are homeless with rental assistance vouchers for privately-owned housing. Case managers help veterans find the right housing and amenities for them.
For those veterans at-risk of losing their home, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) helps find a better, more affordable housing situation for veterans through various non-profits and grantees. Through grants from the VA, the program offers help to cover rent, utilities, security deposits and moving costs for a limited time.
Enhanced-Use Lease program uses VA campuses to create spaces for homeless veterans to live and access much-needed services like job training, financial planning, computer access, support groups, barber services and more.
Private-sector entities on VA land lease apartments to veterans, often near hospitals and medical facilities. Currently, there are more than 3,000 housing units across the country.
Your home state's Veteran Affairs Office may also have resources available for affordable housing in your area or veteran-approved homes.
Rental assistance vouchers are available for those veterans who are eligible for VA healthcare services and at-risk of homelessness.
To participate in the SSVF program, you must be a veteran or a member of a veteran family, a veteran that's very low income and must be at-risk or currently homeless.
When looking for your next home, the important part is to be honest with your potential landlord. Ask them about their flexibility with housing assistance programs and vouchers. Aim to tour multiple apartments and focus on larger complexes as landlords tend to be less risk-averse.
If you're eligible for the Post-9/11 GI bill, make sure to have all of your housing allowance documentation ready. There might be landlords that are not familiar with this source of income.
In New York City, for example, it's against the law to discriminate against veterans due to this. However, it's a lawful source of income. In some states and cities, landlords receive a bonus for renting to veterans, anywhere from $500 to $3,500 or more.
Once you find a potential apartment within your budget, it's time to sign the lease. Aside from any must-have amenities on your list, keep in mind the following tips:
If you need housing assistance, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (424-3838) or you can find the nearest VA Medical Center to you.