The Department of Veterans Affairs rolled out their Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program last September, a new program geared towards stabilizing the housing of our nation’s low-income and homeless Veterans. A full year of funding was distributed to 85 nonprofit organizations across the country with opportunities for program renewal and several more years of funding anticipated. While the SSVF program has been undeniably developed, shaped, and funded to meet the needs of our Veterans, there are also unmistakable benefits for landlords and property managers within this program.
Knowing what services SSVF can provide, which of your tenants may qualify, and how they can access the program could not only keep monthly rent payments coming in consistently, but could even help you avoid the tiresome eviction process. The overall goal of SSVF is to stabilize Veterans in permanent housing by offering 90 days of case management, housing counseling, financial planning, and even temporary financial assistance when needed.
For otherwise ideal tenants impacted financially by the current economy, making late rental payments or falling behind may become unavoidable. The SSVF program is able to step in and assist Veterans who are concerned about eviction and at-risk of homelessness if they are able to show that their situation can be financially stabilized within 90 days. A late rental payment may have been the result of a tenant having to take unpaid leave from a job or having to make an unexpected car repair. These are situations that our SSVF program at New Directions, a nonprofit in Los Angeles, California providing treatment and comprehensive care to Veterans, has been able to alleviate.
While not all landlords may have personal relationships with their tenants to the point where they know the ins and outs of their financial situation, knowing your tenant is a Veteran and struggling to make rent is enough of a reason to refer them to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. If our program is unable to help directly, we work to refer Veterans to an agency that can. Eligibility requirements nationwide are fairly straightforward, with some agencies tacking on extra guidelines in order to target specific subgroups of the Veteran population. All prospective program participants must be Veterans and have a discharge status other than dishonorable. Income restrictions will vary depending on geographic location, but at New Directions we reach out to very low income Veterans. Half of those served by our program must be chronically homeless or have dependents, but not all SSVF programs will share this goal.
Accessing the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program should be as simple as a phone call or an email. For landlords and Veterans in the Los Angeles area looking for more information about New Directions and our SSVF program, please visit http://www.ndvets.org or contact the SSVF program supervisor, Eduardo Gonzalez, at 310-914-4045 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested landlords and Veterans outside of Los Angeles can call 1-877-737–0111, email SSVF@va.gov, or visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.
NOTE: The above is a guest post written by New Directions staff and is something that I personally feel strongly about. The fact that there is even a need for a program like this in the United States of America is shameful. This is not to mention how service members are treated while they’re in the military. And for what? The promise of a pension provided they don’t piss off a superior? Free medical care forever when it suits the government’s budget? Thanks for reading. – Landlord-Success.com