The following is an email that I received yesterday from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. It’s worth a look if you give a rip about veterans, homelessness or politics.
What I want to know is how many of these House voters touted their “patriotism” in their campaigning, only to turn around and screw those who have given just about all they had….
House Set to Eliminate HUD-VASH Vouchers
10,000 homeless veterans could be left without housing
WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2011 – The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, which would eliminate $75 million for approximately 10,000 new permanent supportive housing vouchers for homeless veterans.
These HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers represent a collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to help chronically ill veterans who are not able to obtain and maintain housing without assistance. A vote on this bill is expected by the end of the day.
The vouchers in question were approved by both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in the 111th Congress, and would bring the HUD-VASH program to the 40,000 voucher level. That would represent two-thirds of the number of vouchers most experts and federal officials agree are needed to end chronic veteran homelessness.
This morning at a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing, Ranking Member Bob Filner (D-CA) expressed shock over the elimination of these vouchers, which would provide housing and services to approximately 10,000 veterans who are homeless today.
Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) said he was less concerned about the cuts because he has been told about 11,000 of the 30,000 vouchers authorized since 2008 are not yet being used.
The VASH program is one of the most critical elements of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness among veterans by 2015. Last year, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told Congress that a total of 60,000 vouchers would be needed to end veteran homelessness.
VA had included funding for program expansion in its FY 2011 budget, and the Senate Appropriations Committee inserted funding for 10,000 new vouchers in its HUD funding bill. Both actions spurred hope that the number of homeless veterans – estimated at 107,000 – would continue to decline.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) urges all homeless veteran service providers to contact their senators and representatives this afternoon to strongly object to any move that would eliminate approved HUD-VASH program funding for new vouchers.
To contact your representative, click here.
To contact your senator, click here.
You may also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your representative or senator’s office.