The City of Pensacola is now available to assist a total of 157 homeless veteran households through the HUD-VASH program.
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) initiative combines the City's current Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program with case management and clinical services for homeless veterans. The program pays a portion of the VASH family’s rent directly to the landlord, with the amount paid determined by household income and other factors.
The City of Pensacola Housing Office received notification last week that Pensacola will receive 16 new vouchers beginning May 1st. This will bring the current total to 157. Awards for vouchers are based on geographic need and public housing agency (PHA) administrative performance. The allocation process for HUD-VASH vouchers is a collaborative approach that relies on different sets of data. The vouchers are funded through an annual appropriation approved during the federal budget process. The City of Pensacola Housing Office administers and delivers the voucher assistance in partnership with Gulf Coast Health Care System Medical Center, which refers eligible HUD-VASH families to the Housing Office and provides them with case management and clinical services.
Veterans interested in the program are encouraged to start with the VA caseworker, who verifies their homeless status and then refers them to the Housing Office, where Housing staff guide them through the lease-up process. Once the family is leased up in a rental unit, the veteran continues to receive counseling and other supportive services until no longer required. The VA caseworkers assist with varying needs—everything from locating furniture to crisis intervention.
Under the HUD-VASH program, some formerly homeless veterans are now attending educational and vocational programs, with plans of achieving even greater self-sufficiency. Other program participants are elderly or disabled veterans who appreciate the stability the program provides.
In order to participate in HUD-VASH, veterans must be currently homeless, eligible for VA medical care, and have an identified clinical need for case management. There is a current need for landlords that are interested in participating in the program.
If you know someone who fits these criteria and is in need of assistance or are a landlord interested in participating please contact Stephen Voight of the VA at 850-912-2268, or Marsha Bazinet of the Pensacola Housing Office at 850-858-0312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.