WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation announced that the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veteran Affairs (VA) awarded $1,252,253.00 to go toward 110 targeted vouchers to help provide housing for Hawaii’s veterans experiencing homelessness. The City and County of Honolulu will receive $977,616 for 80 vouchers, while the remaining $274,637 will be directed to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority for 30 vouchers.
“I am extremely pleased to be joining my fellow delegates in announcing the awarding of these federal funds for Hawaii, and I am particularly proud of the work we accomplished as we were able to nearly double the amount Hawaii received last year,” said Congressman Mark Takai. “In fact, the funding of these HUD – VASH programs was one of the priorities for me in our Appropriations letters. Providing for our homeless veterans is much more than a housing issue for me, it is about keeping the promises we made to our men and women in uniform. I will always stand on the side of programs and initiatives that serve our community of homeless veterans and will work to ensure that Hawaii has the ability to provide crucial services for the entire veteran community of our state.”
“Our veterans and their families have made great sacrifices for our country, and we must continue to do all we can to make sure every veteran has a safe place to call home,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. “These funds will make sure veterans who are struggling to get by have access to supportive housing, temporary financial assistance for rent, and clinical services to help them get back on their feet.”
“We owe a tremendous debt to our service members, military families, and veterans for their dedicated service to protect our freedoms, but too often these brave men and women have trouble finding housing, securing housing and locating resources to assist them in their transition to civilian life,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono.“That’s why supporting our veterans and their families is an obligation I take seriously. Far too many of Hawaii’s veterans find securing a safe place to call home a major challenge, and I am encouraged by the 110 newly awarded HUD-VASH vouchers that will help more Hawaii veterans experiencing homelessness to obtain much needed supportive housing. As a member of the Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services, I will continue working with federal, state, and local stakeholders to end veteran homelessness in Hawaii.”
“There is no excuse for veterans to struggle with the difficulties of homelessness – it dishonors their sacrifice and service to our nation. This is an urgent issue that must be addressed with a multi-faceted strategy and, $1.2 million in housing funding for Hawai'i veterans is a helpful step in the right direction,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Leaders from all parts of our community must take action to solve the issue of veteran homelessness, unemployment, and lack of adequate care and treatment.”
The HUD-VASH program combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans with counseling services and other programs to provide long-term housing solutions for our veterans. The funds designated for Hawaii this year mark a large increase from the $669,882.00 that Hawaii received in 2014. Honolulu is currently participating in the 25 Cities Initiative, a joint effort by VA, HUD, the U.S. Interagency on Homelessness, and local community partners to end veteran’s homelessness by 2015.