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Commerce connects Montana’s veterans to housing support

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News from Montana Dept. of Commerce

HELENA — The Montana Department of Commerce facilitates federal rental assistance for Montana’s veterans. Administered by Commerce, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) provides rental assistance, case management and clinical services to Montana veterans who are housing unstable or homeless.

“No veteran should experience homelessness in the country they fought to defend,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “It is critical that we ensure Montana’s veterans have a safe, affordable place to call home. Through the HUD-VASH program, landlords can play a critical role in opening the door to veterans who are housing unstable or experiencing homelessness.”

Eligible veterans in the HUD-VASH program pay approximately 30 percent of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent; a subsidy is paid directly to the property owner or landlord. Homeless veterans and their families receiving rental assistance also receive VA case management services. Veterans interested in participating in the program should first contact their local Veteran Affairs Medical Center and ask to join the HUD-VASH program. Commerce staff will help potential applicants reach the appropriate VA counselor; the VA screens the veteran. If the veteran is eligible, the individual works with Commerce’s Montana Housing Division to receive rental assistance. Veterans are then able to search for housing within their community. Finding landlords that accept HUD-VASH is critical to the veteran becoming housed.

In addition to developing an extensive, statewide effort to identify veterans experiencing homelessness or housing instability, Commerce is conducting outreach to landlords to house more veterans. Interested community stakeholders and landlords are invited to attend a webinar, “Landlords in Action: Opening the Doors for Veterans,” on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to learn more about the HUD-VASH program. For more information about HUD-VASH and other VA homeless programs, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.  


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