Written by Lynn Goya
Homelessness among veterans is a serious national issue; as is the skyrocketing foreclosure rate which is impacting veterans, although on a smaller scale. The Obama administration has a five-year goal to end homelessness among veterans and is accelerating the Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act that offers Federal properties categorized as unutilized, underutilized, excess, or surplus to assist the homeless find shelter.
Properties are offered to States, local governments, and non-profit organizations so that they can make available shelter, services, storage, or other benefits to the homeless. In December the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) identified a number of federal buildings and other real property that could be appropriate for housing for the homeless. The list, published each Friday in the Federal Register and is available thought public libraries, by subscription or though a local HUD Field Office.
However, the easiest way to find out about these properties regularly is to contact the HUD Field Office nearest you and ask to be put on their mailing list. You will then be informed of the properties in your area as they are published. HUD also offers a new 24-hour, toll-free information number, (800) 927-7588, to provide further information on the Title V program and properties. The information is available online; search for Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless and hit PDF, then scroll down to find the appropriate section.
The properties are available to homeless assistance providers who are required to offer a written expression of interest within 90 days of publication and pay for the costs for any building that needs to be relocated. Letters should be addressed to HHS, addressed to Theresa Rita, Division of Property Management, Program Support Center, HHS, Room 5B-17, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857; 301-443-2265.
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