Working collaboratively with the California Housing Finance Agency and the California Department of Veterans Affairs, HCD is designing, developing, and preparing to administer a new $600 million program that will help provide housing stability for veterans across the state.
California is home to nearly two million veterans, the largest veteran population in the nation. Unfortunately, California also leads the nation in the number of veterans who are homeless: Nearly 15,000 veterans experience homelessness in California on a given night.
That pattern will soon be changing, thanks to the voters’ approval of Proposition 41 on June 3, 2014. That proposition was placed on the ballot by AB 639 (Perez), passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown in 2013. It created the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention (VHHP) program and made available $600 million in previously approved CalVet funds for the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of multi-family housing for homeless and low income veterans and their families. Half of the funds provided through the VHHP program will be reserved for veteran households with extremely low incomes. Of those, 60 percent will be supportive housing units.
Collaboration and partnerships will be crucial to the success of the VHHP program. It started with California voters recognizing the vital need for affordable housing for our vets. It has continued with HCD, CalHFA, and CalVet jointly holding public stakeholder meetings across the state to gather input on the framework, guidelines, and implementation plan for the VHHP. The partnering will not end there. Other allies, veterans, nonprofits, and jurisdictions will be included in a feedback cycle as the VHHP continues to develop. Ultimately, producing the sustainable outcomes for veterans envisioned will be a product of the partnership forged between housing developers, service providers, and the local community.
The initial Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will be approximately $75 million with applications due in March 2015. The award date will likely be in June 2015.
For additional information on the VHHP program, stakeholder opportunities, proposed implementation timeframes, background information, and program publications, please see the VHHP program website. The program has also established an email listserv and encourages all those interested in receiving VHHP program updates to register their email addresses. For any questions regarding the VHHP program, please contact program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org