Thursday, November 8, 2018

Not all Oregon's Allocated 2,340 VASH Vouchers For Veterans Are in Use; Using All of Them Could Reduce Unsheltered Veterans by 60%.

My post earlier this week HERE noted HUD data shows that there were 1,363 homeless veterans in Oregon, and 763 of those veterans were unsheltered. (As one frame of reference there are 320,000+ veterans in Oregon, including me:). 

HUD reports HERE that over the years that has been a total of 2,340 VASH vouchers allocated to Oregon, including a new allocation of 249 VASH vouchers as recently as October.  

March 2018 data HERE suggests that Oregon only had about 86% of allocated VASH vouchers in use; the most recent dashboard HERE from Home Forward shows only 84% of their VASH vouchers were in use (and they received an additional allocation of 159 VASH vouchers in October). 

Using an assumption that an even higher 90% of all Oregon VASH allocated vouchers before October (2,091) were in use, this would leave 209 of the existing VASH vouchers currently unused. Adding in the 249 VASH vouchers received in October this would mean a total of 458 allocated but unused VASH vouchers.  Note: It is possible that some of those VASH vouchers have been allocated to projects now under construction and do not yet show up as being in use. 

At a recent per month HUD subsidy (HAP payment) rate of $548 for Oregon VASH vouchers, 458 unallocated VASH vouchers would represent $3 million+ in annual subsidy resource not currently being used. 

IF these EXISTING but unused VASH 458 vouchers could be put to use as permanently supportive housing this would reduce the current number of 763 unsheltered homeless veterans in Oregon by 60% to 305. (763-458=305). (305/763-1=60% reduction). 

I anticipate that the full utilization of VASH vouchers will be included in discussions at the OCHS sponsored November 15 Welcome Home meeting which is offering technical assistance to 10 select communities to help address veteran's homelessness.  

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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