Austin has become the third Texas city to end homelessness among veterans, the Austin American-Statesman reported Friday. According to the daily, the city has used a combination of federal programs and private funding to house 682 veterans since October 2014, meeting the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s standards for certification.
The certification does not mean there are no homeless veterans in the city, the paper reported, but that Austin has a system in place to ensure that there is enough housing for veterans and that any periods of homelessness for them are brief and rare.
The website of local television news station KXAN listed the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness requirements for “functional zero” status as:
No chronically homeless veterans or veterans are in the process of being housed in 90 days
Veterans who don’t want to be housed must have resources in place if they choose to find housing
On average, homeless veterans are housed within 90 days of being identified
Number of veterans being housed is greater than the number becoming homeless (monthly)
Number of veterans entering in transitional housing is less than the number becoming homeless (monthly)
The Statesman reported that Houston and San Antonio have also been certified as having ended veteran homelessness, quoting HUD secretary Julian Castro as saying that all the certified cities have taken a “Housing First” approach—a strategy of getting people housed first before addressing other issues that has been adopted by a number of cities across the country. Castro stated that housing vouchers are the most effective way to do that, the paper reported.
• HUD certifies Austin has ended homelessness among veterans [Austin American-Statesman]