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The federal government has been pushing to reduce the number of homeless veterans in Portland and elsewhere and new research is revealing details about those who receive rent subsidies. As of Oct. 1, 2014, it is estimated there are 316,626 veterans living in Oregon; the majority of which are between the ages of 65-84. Of those, one out of every two are elderly, and approximately 58,000 are homeless with 57% staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program; and the remaining 43% living on the street, in an abandoned building, or unsheltered someplace. The new research is showing that many of our nation’s vets may benefit from rent assistance.
A Nov. 10 report from the Washington, D.C.,-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that rental assistance has played a central role in the 33 percent reduction in veterans’ homelessness between 2010 and 2014. The report adds that assistance reaches only a fraction of the veterans who need it. The Center said veterans in subsidized housing benefit mostly from four kinds of rent assistance: HUD/VASH vouchers, Section 8 housing, Housing Choice Vouchers or public housing. In those programs, they pay about 30 percent of their income for housing.
Emergency grants are available to Oregon veterans who are homeless
If you are a homeless veteran, you can receive support to get back on your feet. Contact VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to speak to a trained VA responder. Or visit the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs website at http://www.oregon.gov/odva/Pages/index.aspx.
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