Tampa Housing Authority awarded 75 additional vouchers to provide housing for homeless veterans listen08/26/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:
The Tampa Housing Authority has recently received more than a half a million dollars to help local Veterans who are homeless or cannot afford their housing payments.
In July the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants to public housing agencies in every state. The funding totals $46.2 million. The Tampa Housing Authority was awarded 75 additional vouchers to provide assistance to veterans in need. Margaret Jones, Director of Assisted Housing for the Tampa Housing Authority says this program has proved to be very successful so far.
“We receive the money for the housing and then we partner with the Department of Veterans Services who supply us with the Veterans. So they qualify them based on their guide lines and then the Veteran has to agree of supportive services, whatever it may be, and then that family gets referred to us to start the process to find housing. It’s been very successful so far so we’re very appreciative of the vouchers and being able to house them.”
Funding to provide support and housing to Veterans is part of the Obama Administration’s mission to stop widespread homelessness among Veterans by 2015. But Jones says this is still a growing problem.
“I would say yes, only because they’re coming back from overseas and there’s no housing for them. We’ve seen a huge increase, no just Veterans of course, but all populations that a homeless. If you remember the count that just took place at the homeless coalition I believe there were 15,000 families that were homeless. So yeah, there is an increase in homelessness with Veterans and our normal population.”
The Tampa Housing Authority provides housing to Veterans with support from the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program. According to Jones, the additional vouchers are expected to reduce the number of homeless Veterans in local communities. She says this national wide release of money will make a difference for the lives of many people.
“You have to imagine that all these families that were assisting so far they were all homeless. So right now we have 290 vouchers and we just received 75 more so out of the 290 we have about 285 families that have been housed. So if it wouldn’t be for these vouchers then these families would not be housed.”
As of this year the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program has awarded 17,000 vouchers to qualified Veterans in all 50 states. The money recently given by the Department of Housing and Urban Development will help aid in the effort to eliminate homelessness among Veterans.