Serving Veterans with Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sponsored by: Housing Services Department

Washington County Announces New Housing Options for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

Housing programs for veterans are part of a county-wide strategy to address the housing crisis

 

HILLSBORO, Ore.­– Washington County Department of Housing Services announced today it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to 197 veterans’ households across the county. These vouchers are specifically for veterans experiencing homelessness to successfully transition into permanently affordable housing with accompanying case management provided by the VA.

 

Washington County has also set aside affordable housing for veterans in upcoming Regional Affordable Housing Bond projects. A new affordable housing project in Tigard called The Viewfinder has eight units set aside for veterans experiencing homelessness through a partnership with Veterans Affairs to provide supportive services. Residents will move in mid-December.

 

People who have served in the U.S. armed forces are significantly more likely to experience homelessness than the general public, said a Washington County spokesperson. The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs estimates there are over 1,300 veterans statewide experiencing homelessness on any given night plus many more are at risk of becoming homeless due to poverty, lack of support networks and poor living conditions.

 

“As someone who served in the U.S. Navy, I know firsthand the sacrifice of the men and women in our military,” said Washington County Commissioner Jerry Willey. “It is critical that we honor and support the service our veterans have given our country by ensuring they have access to affordable housing and much needed support services.”

 

These programs for veterans are part of a county-wide strategy to address the regional housing crisis. Hundreds of Washington County households experience homelessness every year, and thousands more are at risk of losing stable housing, according to a recent report from Washington County’s Supportive Housing Services Program. County residents with disabling conditions and extremely low incomes are most severely impacted by the housing crisis. The experience of homelessness and housing instability also disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and other communities of color. 

The voter-approved Supportive Housing Services measure was created to address the regional homelessness crisis. In its first quarter, the Washington County SHS Program launched several programs to expand permanent housing and supportive services that ‘wrap around’ people to provide stability and promote health, including:

Housing Case Management Services

Washington County has contracted with 17 organizations to provide housing placement and retention services to people who have experienced or are at risk of prolonged homelessness and who have disabling conditions or are age 55 and older. The new program is scaled to serve up to 800 households per year.

Emergency one-month rent assistance for culturally-specific organizations and long-term rent assistance for people experiencing homelessness and disabling conditions

These two rent assistance programs are tailored to meet the needs of each household to prevent and end homelessness.

Bridge Shelter program

Three bridge shelter locations are now in operation, for a total of 101 new shelter beds in Washington County. Bridge shelters provide temporary shelter and services for people who have experienced prolonged homelessness, families, and people recovering from COVID.

For more information about Washington County Supportive Housing Services programs visit https://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/SupportiveHousingServices/index.cfm. Washington County residents in need of assistance can contact 503-640-3263 or email communityconnect@caowash.org.  

Media Contact:

Emily Roots, Public Affairs Administrator
503-846-3790
Emily_Roots@co.washington.or.us