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Press Release: Housing Fair for Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               
          May 20, 2015
For Additional Information Contact:
Ivory N. Mathews, Executive Director, The Greenville Housing Authority     (864) 467-4299
Housing Fair for Veterans
Greenville, SC – In an ongoing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides rental assistance to assist 123 homeless veterans in securing a permanent place to call home throughout the Greenville community. The rental assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the VA.
Greenville Housing Authority, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center/Greenville Out-Patient Center, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and Alston Wilkes Society, in its efforts to End Homelessness for Veterans in Greenville County, will be hosting a “Housing Fair for Veterans” on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm at the TD Convention Center at 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville SC 29607. A light lunch will be served for Veterans from 11:30 am until 12:00 noon. This Housing Fair for veterans is one of many efforts the housing authority and other partner organizations in Greenville County will use to connect homeless Veterans to the VASH-Rental Assistance Program, Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) and other resources they may access throughout the Greenville community.
Since 2008, more than 69,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 88,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for the Greenville Community in ending homelessness for Veterans. “While resources from the VA are vital in ending Veteran homelessness, there is a need for ongoing collaboration and cooperation from the community. Given the competitive rental market, often time’s Veterans who have HUD-VASH vouchers are unable to secure housing options because of credit history, history of past evictions and felony criminal histories. The Greenville Housing Authority is working toward identifying landlords willing to work collaboratively with the HUD VASH team to find possible rental options for  veterans in our community”, said Ivory N. Mathews, Executive Director of the Greenville Housing Authority.
In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.
Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and landlords are provided the rest of the monthly rental obligation directly from the housing authority. This stable stream of income for landlords is one benefit to participation in the HUD-VASH Program. “An additional benefit is that each Veteran is assigned a master’s level clinical social worker from the Greenville Out-Patient Medical Center who works closely with the veterans on goals such as how to engage in behavior that is conducive to maintaining their housing. These case managers work collectively with landlords to engage in creative problem solving to ensure beneficial outcomes for all involved in the HUD-VASH program” said Cynthia Davis, Health Care for Homeless Veterans Coordinator for the Dorn VA Medical Center.
The HUD-VASH team is always available to discuss housing opportunities for homeless Veterans and can answer any questions Veterans, potential landlords and partner agencies may have about services and programs. If you are interested in participating in the HUD-VASH Program you may contact Cynthia Davis, Health Care for Homeless  Veterans  at  803.776.4000  ext.  7034  or  via  email  at  or  Robin  Hudson, HUD/VASH Leasing Specialist at 864.385.7828 or via email at ##
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