The U.S. government and Department of Veterans Affairs have taken the bold step of assisting all veterans displaced from housing. But we need your help. Many SPOSFI members are already aware of the HUD-VASH Program, and several have taken advantage of the benefits that come with renting to a veteran.

With the push to provide housing for all of the men and women who have served our country, several improvements have been made to the program.

First, landlords can receive a bonus payment up to $1,000 for each new veteran they rent to.

Through funding by the Mayor’s Office of HOPE and Swords to Plowshares, $40,000 is available for the next 40 landlords willing to rent to a veteran: $500 when an agreement is signed and the other $500 when the contract is signed.

Second, the payment standards are now 20% higher than a regular Section 8 voucher. And the S.F. Housing Authority (SFHA) has made housing for veterans a priority, aiming to have all new housing inspections scheduled within 48 hours. VA and PHA meet weekly to ensure that the process is expedited and that there are no payment delays.

Finally, the VA has increased its case management staff by 30%, ensuring that all veterans and landlords have the attention they need so that the process is a smooth one. HUD-VASH has developed a Housing Coordinator position. I am very excited to take on this role and work with landlords to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. Feel free to reach out to me at (415) 489-3302 or patrick.thompson@va.gov.

 Background of the Program

Veterans are twice as likely to lose their housing Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Supportive Housing (SH) programs, and local public housing authorities. The Program assists homeless veterans by providing long-term quality housing, case management, and community support services.

 Benefit to the Landlord

There are numerous benefits to accepting a HUD-VASH voucher including:

  • Opportunity to help those who served our country
  • Guaranteed monthly electronic deposits of rent
  • Continuous source of tenant referrals. This may eliminate the need for advertising
  • Rigorous screening process of potential tenants conducted by the VA and SFHA
  • Monthly visits from VA case management staff to ensure the unit is being properly maintained
  • Monetary incentive for first-time HUD-VASH/landlord partnerships
  • Lower default risk with tenants who are motivated to succeed and have the support of the VA and a case manager to do so
  • A neutral party to mediate potential problems 

Benefit to the Veteran

There are also many benefits to the veteran who participate in the program including:

  • Access to high-quality healthcare and benefits counseling through the VA
  • Opportunity to live in a safe and secure environment
  • Support/guidance to pursue continued education
  • Assistance with vocational training/job placement
  • Improved health and quality of life

 

Reprinted with permission of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI) News.  For more information on becoming a member of SPOSFI or to send a tax-deductible donation, please visit their website at www.smallprop.org or call (415) 647-2419.