Today, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that HUD will provide $72.6 million to public housing agencies nationwide to supply permanent housing and case management for thousands of homeless veterans.

The announcement comes on the same day the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Homes for Heroes Act of 2011 which amends the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act to establish a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs within HUD to coordinate and ensure veterans have fair access to HUD housing and homeless assistance programs, to serve as a HUD liaison to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to provide an annual report to Congress on the status of homeless veterans in America.

“It is unacceptable that thousands of men and women who have faithfully served our country are now living in substandard housing or on the streets,” said Congressman Smith. “These grants to local agencies and the bi-partisan support of the Homes for Heroes Act will help ensure we’re doing our part to seriously address this problem and give our veterans the support they need and deserve.”

According to HUD Secretary Donovan, about one out of every six men and women living in homeless shelters are veterans, totaling about 10,500 of the veteran population. Donovan says the grants will help significantly reduce that number and help the federal government reach its goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.

For more information about the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness, read Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.

For more information on services for homeless veterans in Washington State, visit the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.