First Lady Michelle Obama released a video this week to landlords encouraging them to help communities across the country end Veteran homelessness.

“You all have the power to open doors for Vets, and give them the stability they deserve, and help our country solve an issue that has been swept under the rug for far too long,” the first lady says.

The message asks landlords to make units available to Veterans with federal rental assistance who haven’t yet been able find a home.

“We’ve made historic investments to get housing vouchers into the hands of Veterans and treat them with the dignity they deserve,” says HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “But there are a number of communities where housing is too scarce or unaffordable that having a voucher just isn’t enough. In those cases, we need landlords to be part of the solution by stepping up and accepting those vouchers.”

In choosing to rent to Veterans exiting homelessness, landlords get a stable source of rent and the peace of mind that Veterans receive ongoing supportive services from local VA staff or community organizations to help them through unexpected crises.

“In order to build on our progress making sure that those who have served our nation have a place they can call home, we need the increased support of landlords and property managers,” says VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “We know that when given the opportunity, Veterans have the skills and abilities to make excellent tenants.”

Affordable housing is a concern across the country, one that can begin to be addressed by strong partnerships between landlords and a community’s housing crisis response system.

“Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices our service members have made for us, and what we owe them for that sacrifice,” says Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “The partnerships we are building with landlords today will help us honor our commitment to Veterans and all people experiencing homelessness more quickly and effectively.”

In June of 2014, Mrs. Obama called on mayors and other elected officials across the country to join the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. A total of 854 officials from 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have signed up for that challenge, including nine governors.

“Just like it is our country’s duty to bring back all of our men and women from the battlefield, we’ve also got a duty to make sure that every single Veteran has a place to call home when they get here, and for the rest of their lives,” Mrs. Obama said, at the launch of the challenge.


This article originally appeared on the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness blog.

 

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Published on Nov. 6, 2015

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15 Comments

  1. James Morelli November 7, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I utilize the VA all the time. I have never had the issue that are listed above with the VA. Sorry your not recieivng what you beleive your entitled to. It does take a little paper work on your part, however I’ve received all the support I could possibly ask for. I thank the president for providing more attention and funds since 2008 to the VA. in 2011,VA open a clinc in my town and it is very good at takingcare of me and all the local veterans.

    Thank you very much for the support.

    Jim Morelli

  2. dick Scott November 7, 2015 at 7:39 am

    You all have the power to open doors for Vets, and give them the stability they deserve, and help our country solve an issue that has been swept under the rug for far too long,” the first lady says. That damn Bush did it again oh wait is not still President, what the heck blame George those dumb Vets wont know my man Barack Hussain Obama is the President and Commander in Chief.

  3. Penny Franks November 7, 2015 at 12:19 am

    To add, one thing I know for sure is that they like to drag even after approval. My counsellor close to home told me to go talk to program counsellor and VA rep at unnamed school and to enroll for classes last quarter (fall). So me being the proactive one went and talked to VA rep and program coordinator and got a list of my classes and a likely class program for the fall quarter. Plus all the other requirements from my counsellor. That done I get a letter from VOC rehab to come in for an appointment for further evaluation of my classes even though I already know what classes to take and what my likely schedule would be before getting me enrolled in classes. I would need to do this before Voc rehab would approve me again. Seriously, all I need is a certification class. But Voc Rehab wants me to travel more and further than I could afford at that time than to the counsellor who had approved me initially. This is all so frustrating as I called the rep at that location several times and kept being told wasn’t available but if I could leave a message they would get back to me. Well they did, WELL AFTER ENROLLMENT ENDED FOR FALL QUARTER. SML. So, after that I haven’t bothered with VA or VOC rehab to this day. I managed to find a job on my own no thanks to VA or VOC rehab. And I am doing just fine at a job I don’t really mind doing but could do a whole lot better if I could have had the chance to go to school to get the training I needed for the job that I know I love and would like to do career wise. After having served its a sad disappointment what I have had to go through while in service and even more when I got out of service. In spite of all that I am moving forward on my own but I hope for the sake of other veterans something can be done about the way veterans are being subjected to unnecessary wait times to go to school or to receive the benefits they so rightly deserve.

  4. Penny Franks November 6, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I’ve been waiting on my VOC rehab to go to school to better my chances of getting my ideal job but all VOC rehab wants to do is have you waste your time going further from home to see a counsellor who may or may not determine if I am fit for the classes I will take. This is in spite of the fact I’ve seen a Voc Rehab counsellor closer to home who has approved me for VOC rehab. Why does there have to be so many steps and obstacles just to go to school even though you’ve done your time? I am ready to go to school but I have to put up with all the run around wasting time and money that I really can’t afford to waste especially after just getting out of service. Please make it so that veterans don’t have to go through so much more than they have to put up with. I could be homeless before I ever get to go back to school. REALLY???

  5. Hugh Jaynus November 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    WHERE ARE THE VOUCHERS???????????????????????????????????

  6. Keith M Wilson November 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    The VA SAVED MY LIFE . I was HOMELESS . GOT ME
    AVERRY NICE TO. LIVVVVE l GO TO. ALTOONA,
    VA . Live in APT FOUND IN 10 HRS
    PA!!!!!!!!

  7. Alan Dorsey November 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    As a veteran I’d like Not to think America owes me anything. But Jesus said: no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends”. That’s what we did, and at still willing to do. But now I am homeless and whatever the White House is bragging about… Is not reaching me.

  8. DannyG November 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I have the most awesome landlords! He is a U.S. Navy Veteran, & firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment, & his wife is the kindest, stand by your man-type woman, who also knows how to take care of herself. They could be getting $300 – $400 more a month for this house, but they give us a deal. They live right behind us, & the only time we see them is on holidays, birthdays, or if something breaks, & they immediately have it fixed!
    Not all vets are homeless, down-trodden, outcasts (no insinuation intended ); I am a 60-yr-old, long-haired, toothless, PTSD-riddled, LAW-ABIDING, Socially-acceptable, Disabled American Veteran, who is tired of being stereotyped because of the way I look & my “employment status”. Thanks to the Dept of VETERANS Affairs, we will be buying a house soon, & the best landlords “EVER” will be looking for new renters.
    Thanks, VA!

  9. Patricia Todd November 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Need housing assistance, had to be behind rent 3mo. Before they would even let me apply, by then I was on the streets! They just given me a list of names of landlords!

  10. Dan Flesh November 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    If the First Lady is so keen on homeless vets, why not invite a few to the WH for a few weeks? Or, better yet have her husband’s campaign contributers, who became richer, kick back some of that money into affordable housing. This hypocrite hasn’t done anything to help homeless or any other type of veteran. The VA continues to get worse. Go tell this all to the media, they lap up your lies.

  11. Thomas warren November 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Since July 2015, I’ve been trying to get voc rehab too, approve me for school. My education records are in jackson, ms and I’ve signed all the necessary papers to have them transferred to memphis, tn but the voc rehab in memphis are dragging there feet. Can someone please advise.

  12. EDS November 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Just remember years ago the Resident at the White House said by 2015 their won’t be any Homeless Veterans! What Happen.

  13. Robert Michael Lenart November 6, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Very good idea! Are there any vets near the west side, wanting to learn and play pool?

  14. Robert Michael Lenart November 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Very good idea!

    • Donald Gregory November 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      The help for homeless is a JOKE!!! They run you around give you a little bit hear and there and when you need help and Landlord is willing to work with you all of a sudden the excuses come. No money at this time you used your lot of money, which was suppose to be temporary. Also the VA medical…. ha ha… the said I was OK and did not need any more Medical, Second opinion the Doctors at Hartford Hospital put me immediately on the liver list. I’m awaiting and hopefully it was soon enough so I can live.

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