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MortgagePoint September 2023

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September 2023 » thefivestar.com 83 J O U R N A L September 2023 "No one who served our country should have to sleep on a park bench or live without the security of a stable home. Addressing vet- erans' homelessness is one of the top priorities for HUD and the Biden-Harris Administra- tion," HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. "I commend HUD's collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and partners to equip our public housing agencies and VA medical centers with the support needed to ensure that all veterans have access to an affordable and safe place to call home." Dr. Richard Cho, HUD's Senior Advisor for Housing and Services recently joined VA leadership to launch the first HUD-VASH "Boot Camps" set in Chicago. There will be nine additional boot camps in each of HUD's 10 regions across the country over the coming months. The boot camps are a two-day, action-oriented in-person workshop. There will also be a virtual convening for PHAs and VAMCs that are unable to attend in person. The workshops will be facilitated by HUD and VA Technical Assistance (TA) providers and delivered in partnership with HUD, VA, and USICH (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) representatives. During these workshops, each team of PHAs and VAMCs will strategize on ways to improve and speed-up referrals of veterans experiencing homelessness to HUD-VASH, issuing vouchers to eligible veterans, and leasing up veterans into rental housing. The sessions also will cover how to implement Housing First effectively, understanding trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the effective delivery of supportive services, and landlord engagement. "These Boot Camps will help us get veterans out of homelessness and into good homes— where they belong—as quickly as possible," VA Secretary Denis R. McDonough said. "Every veteran deserves a safe, stable home in this country they fought to defend, and we will stop at nothing to make that goal a reality." HUD made the announcement during its "HUD On the Road" effort, a campaign to make HUD more accessible, supporting those in need while enhancing wealth-build- ing and homeownership opportunities for all Americans. As HUD leaders travel nation- wide, engaging with local communities, they seek to create a brighter and more inclusive future, fostering a stronger nation that pro- vides housing and economic opportunities to every individual. BOOSTING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPLY IN RURAL AMERICA U .S. Reps. Brian Higgins, Claudia Tenney, Dan Kildee, Dwight Evans, Randy Feenstra, and Mike Kelly have introduced HR 3940, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, a measure aimed at mobilizing private investment in rural communities to construct new, affordable homes, and revitalize existing homes to attract and keep families and businesses in rural America. This legislation would support the con- struction or rehabilitation of 500,000 homes for middle- and low-income families. "Between labor shortages and record inflation to depressed inventory and budget- ary restrictions, the cost of building a home has skyrocketed and the price tag of buying a home is out of reach for too many Amer- icans—especially young families in rural communities. This is a serious problem that requires thoughtful solutions to ensure that families who want to buy a home in rural areas can do so," Rep. Feenstra said. "To keep our families and businesses in rural Iowa, we need to incentivize the construction of new homes and the rehabilitation of older structures, which in turn promotes popula- tion growth, generates economic develop- ment, and supports our thriving main streets. I'm glad to work with my colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee to intro- duce the Neighborhood Homes Investment "No one who served our country should have to sleep on a park bench or live without the security of a stable home. Addressing veterans' homelessness is one of the top priorities for HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration." —Marcia L. Fudge, HUD Secretary

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