U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock today announced that they have secured funding to help provide homes for Montana veterans.
Tester and Bullock secured vouchers that will provide affordable rental housing to 26 veterans and their families in Helena, Billings, and Butte.
“The men and women who served our nation have made huge sacrifices to keep us safe and they deserve to have a warm and safe place to sleep at night,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “There should be no such thing as a homeless veteran in Montana or anywhere across this country. These resources will help ensure more families have rooves over their heads.”
“Our communities are much stronger when all Montanans have access to affordable homes,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “This crucial funding is one way we can support our Montana veterans and their families by providing a safe and affordable place to call home.”
The vouchers are a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). HUD-VASH vouchers provide chronically homeless and at-risk veterans and their families housing as well as supportive services including health care, mental health treatment, and substance abuse counseling.
The Helena Housing Authority and Housing Authorities of Billings and Butte will each receive five vouchers, and 11 of the 26 vouchers will be administered by the Montana Department of Commerce.
“Montana has one of the highest populations of veterans per capita in the United States. Nearly one in 10 Montanans are veterans,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote said. “That is why these vouchers are so important, to provide housing and services for our friends and neighbors who have served our country.”
This funding comes after Tester demanded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development boost opportunities for homeless veterans after a study showed homelessness among veterans grew by 24 percent between 2016 and 2017.
Tester also recently secured a grant to provide 63 beds, job training, and career services for homeless veterans across the state.
There are now 332 HUD-VASH vouchers available to Montana veterans. Veterans can learn more about how to access housing support resources through HUD-VASH at housing.mt.gov/VASH.