25 Feb New VA Program Helps Homeless Veterans Afford Housing In High Rent Areas
A new VA subsidy program will help lower-income and formerly homeless Veterans afford housing in high-rent communities.
The Shallow Subsidy initiative will provide low-income Veterans a fixed rental subsidy for up to two years. The subsidy is available to Veterans who enrolled in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program and live in communities associated with high rates of homelessness and low availability of affordable housing. To encourage long-term self-sufficiency through employment, renters receive the subsidy for up to two years, regardless of any increases in their household income.
Through a competitive application process, VA awards SSVF grants to private, non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other mainstream benefits that promote housing stability and community integration. SSVF has recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program to co-enroll Shallow Subsidy participants in employment and training programs to help them become economically self-sufficient by the end of their two-year subsidy.
The Shallow Subsidy initiative represents the benefits of VA’s ongoing use of data to adjust programs based on evidence to promote the best possible outcomes for Veterans. VA created the Shallow Subsidy Initiative after several analyses of SSVF data revealed that intermediate-term rental subsidies would remove a key barrier to long term housing stability among homeless Veterans. For the life of the Shallow Subsidy Initiative, VA will collect and evaluate data on outcomes to ensure the initiative is producing the intended results.
Since 2011, SSVF has served over 800,000 people, including over 170,000 dependent children. Of those who exited the SSVF program to date, 84% found permanent housing; another 10% found safe, temporary housing.
SSVF was established in 2011 as the first VA-administered homeless prevention and rapid rehousing program to serve Veterans and their family members. In addition to the recurring SSVF grants already awarded, VA has also committed $50 million in nonrecurring awards to support shallow subsidies in the following communities:
- California: Alameda (including Oakland), Contra Costa, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara
- District of Columbia: Washington
- Hawaii: Honolulu
- Illinois: Cook County
- New York: New York City and Bronx, Queens, Kings and Richmond counties
- Washington: Seattle
- Visit the Shallow Subsidy FAQs to learn more about the initiative.
- VA.gov/homeless has resources available for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- The Get Involved webpage lists ways to help Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
VA’s Homeless Programs Office assists Veterans in obtaining permanent and sustainable housing with access to high-quality health care and supportive services.