STATE CONTINUES TO MAKE HISTORIC INVESTMENTS TO PREVENT AND END VETERAN HOMELESSNESS

Assigns 50 additional rental assistance certificates for veteran use

HARTFORD, CT – August 7, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Commissioner Evonne M. Klein today announced that the Department of Housing is allocating an additional 50 Rental Assistance Program (RAP) certificates for homeless veterans. The Department previously set-aside 50 RAP certificates for exclusive veteran use, and this announcement marks a total state investment of 100 vouchers toward Governor Malloy’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans in Connecticut by the end of 2015.

Governor Malloy said, “Every veteran in Connecticut deserves the opportunity to have a safe, comfortable home, and that’s why under my administration we are dramatically increasing the availability of affordable housing to unprecedented levels. We can reach our goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans – it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do.”

Recognizing the White House’s urgent call to action, Connecticut was one of the first states to sign on to an effort to end homelessness amongst its veteran population.

Lt. Governor Wyman said, “Last year we made a commitment to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. Thanks to Governor Malloy’s leadership; strong partnerships between federal, state, and local government; and rapid response by advocates throughout the state, we are on track to do just that. Veterans have had to conquer enormous challenges throughout their service to the nation—a safe, healthy, supportive place to live in our communities shouldn’t be one of them.”

By providing these subsidies to veterans, the Department is working to achieve the goals laid out in the Zero: 2016 initiative.

“These additional RAP certificates are necessary for us to continue the progress we’ve made with Connecticut’s historic efforts to end veteran homelessness,” said Commissioner Klein. “Not only are we working towards attaining functional zero, the number which will mark an end to chronic veteran homelessness in our state, but we are also ensuring that those veterans we house will remain in permanent and stable housing.”

A training session was held at the State Department of Veterans’ Affairs office in Rocky Hill today for statewide front-line workers to familiarize themselves with the new system to reach functional zero. This training was hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in coordination with their Opening Doors Veterans Workgroup partners: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Hartford field office, the Connecticut Heroes Project (CTHP), the State Department of Housing (DOH), the State Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Connecticut’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grantees, and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH).

“We have an incredible team here in Connecticut all working together to end Veteran homelessness,” said Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner, Sean Connolly, “we will continue these efforts as long as necessary to ensure our Veterans are cared for and have a place to call home because it is our duty to serve those who have served.”

Under Connecticut’s new system all veterans, with limited exceptions, experiencing homelessness will be placed into safe, secure, interim housing within 30 days, and the majority will exit to permanent housing within 90 days of entry. Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration among key stakeholders around the state, Connecticut has made significant progress to end veteran homelessness and this is the final step towards achieving our goal.

By providing state subsidies, paired with federal assistance, Connecticut has been able to significantly decrease its veteran homelessness population in a small period of time. During the 2015 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, only 41 veterans experiencing homelessness were counted living on the streets or in other places not intended for human habitation, a decrease of forty-five percent since the last unsheltered count in 2013. This is the lowest statewide count of unsheltered veterans in Connecticut history.

Governor Malloy’s significant financial commitment to building affordable housing in Connecticut has enabled DOH to fund several new affordable and supportive housing projects that include units targeted specifically for homeless veterans. These projects are in different stages of development and will come online as early as next year, ensuring the state continues to support veterans who are newly entering homelessness. The most recent funding round offered by the Department, the Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP) 7 round, required all successful developments to set aside at least two (2) units for a preference to extremely low-income veterans.

Since 2011, together with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), the state has created 3,854 affordable units, we have another 3,900 affordable units under construction, and have committed funding to approximately 7,200 additional affordable units.

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Contact: Dan Arsenault
Connecticut Department of Housing
Dan.Arsenault (at) ct (dot) gov
860-270-8103 (office)
860-977-3189 (cell)
Twitter: @CTDeptHousing
Emily E. Hein, Director of Communications
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Emily.Hein (at) ct (dot) gov
860.616.3605 (o) | 860.977.8426 (m)
www.ct.gov/ctva

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