Frequently Asked Questions
Information About This City-wide Initiative to House Veterans
What is the reason for this initiative?
This is part of a national imperative to end veteran homelessness. Federal, state, and local agencies realize the scope of the problem and we are pooling our resources to help veterans in our communities. All the agencies have a vested interest as part of our various missions to address homelessness, veterans, or both.
What is HUD VASH?
HUD VASH is a federal program designed to end veteran homelessness. The program allows veterans to receive a housing voucher and ongoing case management through the VA. The program pays a portion of rent each month directly to landlords and VA case managers stand ready to help the veterans and landlord with any issues that may arise that could impact the veterans’ ability to maintain their housing. This is an enormous benefit to the property owner as they have someone to call for help if a problem arises.
Who is served by the VASH Program?
The VASH program is for United States veterans only. The program serves currently homeless and at-risk veterans with a Housing Choice Voucher and includes intensive on-going case management to ensure the veteran will have ample support to stay stable once they find an apartment.
How do the low-income veterans afford market-rate rental properties?
The VASH Housing Choice Voucher provides rental assistance, so each veteran pays only 30-40% of their income, and the property owner is directly paid monthly rental assistance to cover the remaining rent. For example: a veteran living on a fixed income from a service pension is able to live in a nice market-rate one bedroom apartment here in San Francisco. The veteran pays 30% of his income towards rent, and the remainder of the rent is paid directly to the property owner by the Housing Authority. The veteran is thriving and the property owner has both ended homelessness for an American hero, and filled a vacant apartment.
I am a San Francisco landlord, how can I rent apartments to veterans?
First, click here to review the special process for San Francisco landlords if you have available units in San Francisco, please contact: Amanda Kahn Fried at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org. This process is only for apartments and homes for rent in San Francisco.
I am a homeless veteran. How do I get help?
Please note: the SF Homes for Heroes 100 Day Campaign specifically aims to house 50 veterans who currently have a HUD VASH voucher. If you need information on how to apply for a HUD VASH voucher, please contact Robin Burwell at the VA at 415-489-3305.
If you currently have a HUD VASH voucher, but need help finding housing in San Francisco, please contact Randall Flagg at email@example.com.
I have household items to donate. How do I learn more?
The SF Homes for Heroes committee is happy to speak with you about items you would like to donate. Donations to Homes for Heroes will be tax deductible. At this time, we are prioritizing essential household items and have limited storage space and ability to transport items. To learn more, please email Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
- Description of items you would like to donate, including approximate size and weight
- Would you be willing to transport the items to our storage unit? If not, where and when would the items need to be picked up?
Please note: Due to health standards, we cannot accept used furnishings.
How is the VASH Program different from traditional Section 8?
Section 8 is a rental assistance program to make housing affordable for low income renters. Unlike, Section 8, VASH is a comprehensive housing and wellness program with intensive case management for participating veterans. Landlords who rent to VASH participants will have a contact person to help them work with the tenants on any issues that may arise. Also, the Homes for Heroes 100 Days Campaign streamlined the process for tenants and landlords to ensure that veterans placed in housing rapidly and property owners start receiving payment as soon as possible. Recently, a landlord who contacted Amanda Fried at Amanda.email@example.com began receiving rental payments for a vacant unit within 7 days.
I would like to donate. How will my donation be used?
All donations pledged to the SF Homes for Heroes initiative will be used to cover the moving costs and security deposits for the 50 homeless veterans. Donations to Homes for Heroes are tax deductible.
To donate online, click here to be directed to the Donation website.
Note: please select "Mayor's Fund for the Homeless" and note Homes for Heroes in the box to the right.