Trump administration halts plan to shift money from homeless veterans program

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has abruptly canceled plans to shift devoted funding away from a program serving to probably the most weak homeless veterans.

The Division of Veterans Affairs introduced late Wednesday that it might not take away about $460 million in funding from the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Often known as HUD-VASH, it’s a partnership between the VA and the Division of Housing and City Improvement that gives housing and counseling for chronically homeless veterans with disabilities together with psychological illness and habit.

“There might be completely no change within the funding to help our homeless packages,” Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin stated.

The assertion capped almost every week of complaints from veterans advocates who discovered concerning the change on a 3-hour convention name final Friday and instantly voiced their considerations.

“Not a single individual spoke in help of VA’s motion in any means, form or type,” stated Elisha Harig-Blaine of the Nationwide League of Cities, who serves on an advisory board on the company.

Even a prime official at HUD who spoke on the decision “vocalized his robust concern” with the shift, Harig-Blaine stated. The HUD official stated his division had not not consulted previous to the VA determination.

“The VA’s central workplace made this determination they usually talked to no one,” stated Mark Walker, a deputy director of the American Legion who’s an professional on veteran homelessness coverage. “Everyone seems to be left saying, ‘Can we get some clarification?’ ”

The announcement despatched advocates looking for a solution to change the coverage. Letters have been written, calls have been positioned and ultimately they approached reporters with their considerations.

Shortly after information retailers, together with Politico and The Washington Submit, reported the change, the administration reversed course and issued a brief assertion from HUD, which promised “we won’t be shifting any homeless program cash” and a six-month interval of public enter “on how greatest to focus on our funding.”

The choice to shift funding from the HUD-VASH program to a basic fund on the discretion of native VA officers was particularly shocking as a result of this system is extensively revered. It “has been a recreation changer” as veteran homelessness has dropped in recent times, stated Walker.

Shulkin himself applauded this system simply days earlier than the convention name when he and HUD Secretary Ben Carson visited a HUD-VASH facility in Washington. He famous the success of the power, which homes 60 beforehand homeless veterans, whereas recognizing that there’s extra work to be carried out, citing the 409 veterans on the power’s ready record.

“I can inform you we’re terribly pleased with what has been put collectively right here to serve our veterans and serve the broader homeless group,” Carson stated.

Then, when a authorities report on homelessness was launched Wednesday, Shulkin stated it confirmed the “joint group-based mostly homelessness efforts are working…

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