The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness have declared the end of the veteran housing crisis on Long Island.
The USICH, which includes Federal representatives from HUD and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, notified both Nassau and Suffolk counties of their success in ensuring that every veteran on Long Island has a home.
Nassau Executive Edward Mangano has established 60 homes on Mitchel Field, as well as five two-bedroom townhouses in Hempstead, to provide affordable housing for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and their families. Together with community partners, immediate housing is available for any homeless veteran in-need.
“Since taking office in 2010, my administration has made it a top priority to honor our veterans and active-duty military who are serving our nation here and abroad,” Mangano said. “Along with my partners in government, we have ensured that every homeless veteran seeking shelter on Long Island has been housed, and that any veteran or active-duty military personnel who may be in need in the future will receive immediate shelter.”
In June of 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama issued a “Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness,” encouraging municipalities from across the country to pool their resources in hopes of reaching this goal. As of today, over 880 leaders have joined the challenge, and more than two dozen communities and two entire states have met the goal.
Nassau submitted an application to the USICH, touting the county’s efforts to end veteran homelessness, and after careful review, the USICH approved the application and confirmed that Nassau, through the partnership of its various departments and the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, has effectively ended veteran homelessness.
Nassau success in meeting this goal was assisted by investments made by the U.S. Congress, and the partnership between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on a joint program called HUD-VA Supportive Housing. This program provides a rental subsidy along with supportive services for veterans in need. To date, nearly 80,000 vouchers have been awarded and more than 104,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.
“We are confident that the infrastructure and systems you have built will ensure that any Veteran experiencing a housing crisis in the region will get the support they need to quickly obtain a permanent home,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Several veterans-oriented programs of the Nassau Department of Social Services, the Veterans Service Agency and the Nassau Department of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities further support the availability of immediate shelter, long-term housing, employment and counseling services for veterans.