Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) in California

Veterans housing assistance programs in California help at-risk veterans who need housing stability due to homelessness, mental illness or substance abuse. This HUD for veterans program is the combined initiative of the Department of Veterans Administration Supported Housing (VASH) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to meet the housing needs of habitually homeless veterans. Similar to the application process for Section 8 HUD housing program in CA, HUD-VASH provides rental assistance by issuing federally funded vouchers directly to landlords or housing authorities to cover a portion of the participant’s rent payment. The HUD-VASH veterans housing assistance program provides safe, stable housing along with mental health counseling, addiction treatment programs and financial management counseling to help end veteran homelessness in California. Veterans wondering, “What is the HUD VASH program, and can it help me and my family?” can find answers about the benefits of HUD-VASH and learn how to apply for the program by studying the sections below.

To learn more about federal housing programs for military veterans, click here for our comprehensive guide.

HUD VASH Benefits

One of the greatest HUD VASH benefits is when veterans and their families rediscover the security of living in a safe, sanitary home or apartment. HUD VASH eligibility requirements are flexible, to meet the needs of veterans struggling with conditions that make it difficult to maintain adequate housing. Veterans who meet California HUD VASH program eligibility requirements will be assigned a VA case manager who will coordinate communication between the veteran, his or her landlord and the local Public Housing Authority (PHA). An active VA case manager is a HUD-VASH benefit for veterans who struggle to obtain and maintain housing because of a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse, mental illness, physical disabilities and service-related issues.

Another benefit of HUD VASH in CA is the program’s flexibility in housing choice options. HUD housing program benefits allow veterans to choose their own rental unit, within certain cost and quality parameters. HUD housing program participants also have some freedom choosing the location of their subsidized home, as HUD VASH veterans are not required to live within a certain distance of their VA case manager. However, California HUD housing program participants should consider staying close to their VA office to make participation in the HUD-VASH program easier.

Additional benefits of HUD VASH include a relatively open-ended time frame for participation, with no set cut-off date for receiving monthly rental assistance. HUD housing program agents inspect each unit regularly, to ensure that the home remains safe, sanitary and meets all PHA standards. Veterans are recertified for HUD VASH annually, and VA treatment programs help some participants improve to the point that they are able to phase out of HUD-VASH participation.

HUD VASH Eligibility in California

The HUD VASH application process in California begins by making sure the veteran meets HUD VASH eligibility requirements set by the VA and the PHA. Veterans eligible for HUD housing program benefits must first meet the designation of homelessness outlined in the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act amended by S. 896 The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. Those who meet this standard for HUD VASH eligibility must also demonstrate several other areas of need and commit to following all the rules and requirements to remain in the program. Those who begin the HUD VASH application process in California must demonstrate a legitimate need for social services to improve mental or physical conditions that have contributed to persistent homelessness. When veterans learn about homelessness assistance programs in California, they can find HUD-VASH resources to help find essential housing options.

Standards for participation in veterans housing assistance programs such as HUD VASH include meeting household income limits and keeping obligations, such as only allowing authorized individuals to live in the housing unit. Veterans who apply for HUD VASH are responsible for paying a certain percentage of their monthly income toward rent and must also cover any utility bills that are not included in the lease agreement. This HUD housing program is open to qualifying veterans only, and a VA Homeless Coordinator can explain any situation that may exclude a veteran from participating.

How to Apply for HUD VASH

Veterans wondering how to apply for HUD VASH in California should contact a Homeless Coordinator at their local VA Medical Center. Many veterans first obtain HUD VASH benefit information while visiting a VA clinician or a local community service provider. Some of these social service providers may be able to provide veterans housing assistance application instructions. Applicants may obtain information about the HUD VASH application process and ask for HUD VASH benefit information in California any time of the day or night by calling the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans Hotline at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).

After the VA screening for HUD VASH program eligibility in CA, you will receive either an approval or denial of your application. If you are approved for veterans housing assistance programs, you will be given a written referral letter to take to your local PHA. As the workers who administer the HUD housing program locally, the PHA will screen you for participation according to HUD standards and tell you if there are vouchers and housing units available at that time. Because HUD issues a limited number of HUD-VASH vouchers to each California county, you may have to add your name to a waiting list before being able to move into your new home.

To learn more the application process for the HUD-VASH program, click here for our comprehensive guide.

What Housing Help Can I Get Through HUD?

California residents can receive various types of housing assistance, from federal housing aid to home loans and more. Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development offers CA residents counseling services, which cover how to avoid foreclosure, how to buy a home and how to rent a living space, to name only a few topics. Find out everything you need to know about housing assistance programs in California by downloading our comprehensive HUD guide.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Housing Help in California?

In order to receive housing help from the state of California, you typically need to meet the income requirements of the specific assistance program you are applying for. These necessary qualifications often refer to the income of the household, based on the number of members. Find out if you and your household are eligible for housing assistance here.