Housing Pilot Program Secured for Homeless and At-Risk Pinal County Veterans
After months of working with veteran service organizations, community health programs, the Pinal County Housing Authority and the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) announced that a pilot program to house homeless and at-risk veterans in Pinal County would be launched.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is a collaborative program between HUD and the VA that assists homeless veterans and their families in finding and sustaining permanent housing. An existing audit failure and lack of accurate data prevented HUD-VASH vouchers from being allocated to Pinal County. Existing data did not properly capture how many veterans would be eligible for the program. O’Halleran and his staff secured a pilot program that would allow HUD-VASH vouchers to be ported to Pinal County.
“Our veterans served with honor, and when they return from defending our country, they deserve our support and respect. I will not sit by while homeless veterans in Pinal County and across Arizona go without food and shelter,” O’Halleran said. “Access to reliable housing is critical for the long-term success of our veterans as they seek employment and educational opportunities. HUD-VASH has given that stability to tens of thousands of veterans across the country, and it will be an important resource for Pinal County.”
According to data later compiled by NCHP, 10 veterans in Pinal county would be eligible through VA standards; however, this is does not accurately reflect the need. The data only captures veterans who have sought out services though the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program managed by NCHP. The pilot program will provide two to four vouchers as a supplement to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
O’Halleran’s efforts were recently praised by the National Community Health Partners and the Pinal County Housing Authority.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude and thank Congressman O’Halleran and his staff for all they have done to bring Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers to Pinal County, said Adeline Allen, housing director at Pinal County Housing Authority. “They have accomplished something we have been working on for years without success, and we are very excited to have this opportunity for our military veterans. It has been a pleasure to work with Ms. Mendoza from Congressman O’Halleran’s staff, and be able to witness firsthand her passion to help our veterans. We appreciate your awareness of our affordable housing shortage, particularly for our former warriors. You are a hero for our heroes!”