(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-02) joined Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) and 82 colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the House and Senate Appropriators asking them to maintain the House-passed levels of support for Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) and Tribal-VASH programs in fiscal year 2020. The funding levels the House passed provide $47,000,000 for these two programs to combat veteran homelessness in FY20; the Senate-passed levels provide only $41,000,000. The House-passed funding levels, which were set in part thanks to an amendment offered by Rep. Kuster, increase total funding for HUD-VASH to the highest levels since Fiscal Year 2016. According to HUD’s estimates, there were over 14,500 veterans unsheltered or sleeping on the street in 2018.  

“We must remember the tragic reality that there are more than 14,000 veterans sleeping on the street on any given night in the United States,” said Rep. Kuster. “We owe it to our veterans to make sure they have a safe place to call home after serving our country. I have seen first-hand the successful implementation of the HUD-VASH program here in New Hampshire, and I urge the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to fund this critical program at House-passed levels in 2020.”

"The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) fully supports the HUD-VASH Program funding levels passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in H.R. 3055, and thanks Representative Kuster for her leadership in efforts to secure sufficient funding for this key program,” said Kathryn Monet, CEO of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. “As this legislation advances, NCHV urges both Chambers to adopt the HUD-VASH funding level in the House bill in conference to better serve those who have served us all.  Housing affordability is a challenge, particularly for veterans exiting homelessness and HUD-VASH vouchers are an effective tool for addressing that challenge."   

A signed copy of  the letter is available here.