Housing Authority of Elgin receives funding for veteran housing

The Housing Authority of Elgin has received $114,125 in federal funds to provide permanent housing for 15 homeless veterans.

The vouchers were awarded Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a news release. The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, which provided $508,424 total to various Illinois housing authorities, helps provide housing and other supportive services to veterans who have been living in unsheltered locations.

"The VASH award is historic for the Housing Authority of Elgin," CEO Damen Duncan said in a statement. "As an agency, we are sensitive to the fact that thousands of veterans who risked their lives for this country do not have a place to call home. To work collaboratively with HUD and the Hines VA to help end homelessness for our veteran population is a true honor."

Veterans participating in the program typically pay 30 percent or less of their income toward renting privately owned houses. Local groups can then step in and provide additional care, such as access to food and mental health, addiction and medical services, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said.

"Affordable housing provided by HUD to homeless veterans is the essential first step toward complete recovery," Kaptain said in a statement. "The City of Elgin is honored to be included in this partnership to improve the lives of those men and women who have served our nation."

In addition to the 15 awarded in Elgin, 63 total vouchers were given to housing authorities in Chicago, Springfield, Cook County, Winnebago County and Boone County. More than $35 million in funding was awarded to housing authorities nationwide.

"We have few responsibilities greater than making sure those who have sacrificed so much in service to their country have a home they can call their own," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. "The housing vouchers awarded today ensure homeless veterans nationwide have access to affordable housing and the critical support services from the VA."

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