Habitat for Humanity partners with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to increase homeownership among veterans
ATLANTA (Aug. 8, 2022) — Habitat for Humanity International has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a program that aims to increase affordable homeownership opportunities among the veteran population in the U.S.
Veterans who are enrolled in Habitat’s Veterans Build program at affiliates in Saginaw, Mich., Mingo County, W. Va., and Will and DuPage counties, Ill., and the HUD-VA Supportive Housing, or HUD-VASH program will be able to use their HUD-VASH housing choice rental assistance voucher to partially subsidize homeownership expenses for up to 10 or 15 years depending on the mortgage term of their affordable home build. As part of the pilot, the VA will provide ongoing case management and clinical services to enrolled veterans to help prevent future housing and personal crises.
“The transition from military life to civilian life can be challenging for veterans. A struggle to adjust, or difficulty obtaining essentials such as housing, employment, education and healthcare, can lead to homelessness, unemployment, or living with chronic health conditions,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “At Habitat, we know that decent and affordable housing provides tremendous social and economic benefit. Veterans have sacrificed so much to serve our country. It is incumbent on us to serve them by helping them find long-term stability through safe and affordable shelter.”
The National Low-Income Housing Coalition previously estimated that more than 25 percent of veteran households in the U.S., are cost-burdened. Of those, an estimated 1.5 million are severely cost-burdened, spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing.
Habitat’s Veterans Build program seeks to address that problem by partnering with veterans and their families to improve their lives through new home construction, critical home repairs, community engagement and education, job training and employment opportunities.
“President Biden declared that America’s sacred obligation is to ensure troops sent into harm’s way are prepared, and veterans and their families are cared for when they return home,” said Monica Diaz, executive director of the Veterans Health Administration Homeless Programs Office. “This partnership will be integral in fulfilling this obligation and improving the lives of thousands of veterans and their families. Every individual who has served our country deserves a safe, stable place to call home.”
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.