76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, the men and women of the armed services have made sacrifices to preserve the freedom of the American people and we have an obligation to care for them; and

WHEREAS, most veterans return and acclimate and live productive lives in this country; and

WHEREAS, some returning veterans, however, face difficulties in their return related to psychological or physical challenges and disabilities, and become homeless; and

WHEREAS, mayors are committed to supporting homeless veterans and assuring they have the housing and services they need to rebuild their lives; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently reported that, on any given night, there are 154,000 veterans who are homeless; and

WHEREAS, this is a decrease from 250,000 veterans that were homeless the VA reported in the late 1990’s, and from 195,000 veterans that were homeless the VA reported in 2006; and

WHEREAS, decreased veteran homelessness corresponds to the creation of permanent supported housing as the primary intervention; and

WHEREAS, we have learned that homeless veterans with disabilities often need housing that is subsidized with on-site services to assist them in their return to home and community;and

WHEREAS, the FY 2006 VA CHALENG report indicates that one of the most significant unmet needs for veterans is long-term, permanent housing; and

WHEREAS, HUD VASH (the joint U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program) has provided Section 8 Vouchers for permanent housing and ongoing treatment services to the harderto-serve homeless mentally ill veterans and those suffering from substance abuse disorders; and

WHEREAS, ongoing, rigorous evaluation of HUD-VASH indicates that this approach significantly reduces days of homelessness for veterans plagued by serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and offers stability and security to those who have served their country; and

WHEREAS, the FY 2008 Federal Budget funds a $75 million investment for 10,000 new HUD-VASH Vouchers which were recently allocated to more than 135 communities for permanent housing for homeless veterans, veterans at risk of homelessness, and veterans with families, including those returning from OEF/OIF;and

WHEREAS, the President’s FY 2009 Budget request includes a $75 million investment for additional new HUD VASH vouchers anticipated to provide another approximately 10,000 vouchers for permanent housing,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses the HUD-VASH program as an important investment in ending homelessness among veterans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses the increased investment in HUD-VASH, including the$75 million in additional funding for new HUD-VASH vouchers included in the President’s FY 2009 budget request, and encourages the Congress to increase this resource to end veteran homelessness.