Kuster Secures Additional $2 Million for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program in House Appropriations Bill
(Washington, DC) – Today, Rep Annie Kuster (NH-02) successfully passed a bipartisan amendment as part of the Omnibus Appropriations legislation to increase funding for the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program in fiscal year 2020. Rep. Kuster’s amendment provides an additional $2,000,000 for the HUD-VASH program, which offers housing vouchers and wrap around services to transition veterans out of homelessness. In addition, the amendment increases total funding for HUD-VASH to the highest levels since Fiscal Year 2016. According to HUD’s estimates, there were 14,566 veterans unsheltered or sleeping on the street in 2018.
“After bravely serving and sacrificing for our country, all veterans should have the peace of mind that comes with having a safe, stable place to live,” said Rep. Kuster. “We have seen the successful implementation of the HUD-VASH program right here in New Hampshire, and I am pleased that the House passed this bipartisan amendment to increase funding for this important tool for combatting veteran homelessness. This increase in funds is an important step forward in our efforts to ensure that all veterans have the support they need when they return to civilian life.”
“The HUD-VASH program has been a critical component of our nation's response to veteran homelessness,” said The National Coalition for Veteran Homelessness. “The National Coalition thanks Representative Kuster for leading the effort to increase their availability across the country. These vouchers will help more veterans exit homelessness and remain stably housed with the supportive services that accompany the voucher.”
“The HUD-VASH program has proven to be an extraordinarily effective means of addressing the housing needs of our veterans. The VASH program is a major reason that homelessness among veterans has fallen dramatically in New Hampshire. This increase in funding for the program will enable us to help more of our state’s veterans who need supportive housing services, including rental assistance, case management and clinical services. We appreciate the bi-partisan support for our state’s veterans,” said Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing.
Kuster has focused on working across the aisle to improve access to care and support for veterans in New Hampshire and across the country. She cosponsored H.R. 4451, the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2018, which passed the House in May 2018. The bill extended the homeless veterans programs for five years, and clarified that veterans receiving supportive housing vouchers are also eligible for job training services.