FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Vouchers Will Serve Veterans Experiencing Homelessness and Individuals, 65 or Younger, With Disabilities

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced that it has been awarded 224 housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide affordable housing opportunities throughout New Jersey. The HUD awards include 124 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers totaling $975,194 for veterans at risk of experiencing homelessness and 100 mainstream housing vouchers for non-elderly people with disabilities who have been impacted by COVID-19. Annually, DCA provides more than $45.7 million to support homelessness prevention and shelter support services and rental assistance vouchers that make housing affordable for more than 40,000 households.

“The need for affordable housing is more critical than ever due to the financial impacts of the pandemic on our residents,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver who also serves as DCA Commissioner. “We are thankful to HUD for the award of these additional vouchers. This is a true recognition of DCA’s commitment to serving low- and very low-income families in New Jersey.”

Through a partnership with HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), DCA currently administers more than 1,140 VASH vouchers, including the recent award, which are targeted to homeless veterans referred to DCA by VA Medical Centers. When VASH recipients no longer need the high level of case management and clinical services provided through the VA, they can transition into DCA’s “graduation program.” DCA issues the recipient a federal Housing Choice Voucher, which allows the formerly homeless veteran to continue to receive the housing assistance he or she needs to live independently while allowing the VA to backfill the VASH voucher, thus serving more homeless veterans. To complement these vouchers, the Department has also allotted 273 project-based Housing Choice Vouchers to projects serving veteran households that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

DCA also administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, which assists in making safe and quality housing in the private rental market affordable to low-, and very low-income households by reducing housing costs through direct rent subsidy payments to landlords. HUD awarded an additional 100 vouchers for non-elderly individuals, 65 or younger, particularly those who are transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings; at serious risk of institutionalization; currently experiencing homelessness; previously experienced homelessness and currently a client in a permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing project; or at risk of becoming homeless. Applicants with disabilities are chosen from DCA’s established waiting list, which is made up of applicants who submitted an online application for housing assistance. The statewide program is available to residents of all New Jersey counties and administered throughout the state by a number of municipal and county authorities. Annually, DCA serves more than 23,700 families through the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055