Our goal is to help people who, by HUD statistical definitions, are low or very low income and have reliable income but who cannot qualify to purchase a home and in most cases cannot even afford a decent rental home at market rates. In other cases the home they could afford would not be in a safe neighborhood. We acquire reasonable, safe and sustainable housing units either through donations from property owners, direct purchase of distressed properties or from HUD and other agencies. Ideally these homes will offer access to social services and support groups. There is an application process and financial suitability testing for people that are interested in participating in the program. We rely and partner with other approved 501c3 organizations and governmental housing agencies to source and screen potential renters.
This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing.
How It Works Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with maintaining housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program State, local and tribal governments and nonprofits receive capital grants and per diem payments to develop and operate transitional housing—including short-stay bridge housing—and/or service centers for Veterans who are homeless. How It Works VA funds an estimated 600 agencies that provide over 14,500 beds for eligible Veterans. Grantees work closely with an assigned liaison from the local VAMC. The VA GPD liaison monitors the services the grantees offer to Veterans and provides direct assistance to them. Grantees also collaborate with community-based organizations to connect Veterans with employment, housing and additional social services to promote housing stability. The maximum stay in this housing is up to 24 months, with the goal of moving Veterans into permanent housing. Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) Program Too many Veterans are without safe, affordable housing. At the same time, some VA campuses have real estate that is underused. That’s where VA’s Enhanced-Use Lease program may come in. How It Works EUL is a VA portfolio management tool that allows certain land and buildings to be leased to eligible private entities for approved supportive housing and related projects for homeless and at-risk Veterans. In addition to supportive housing, VA’s EUL partners often provide Veterans with job training, financial management, haircuts, computer and laundry facilities, fitness centers and other services. Veterans and their families are prioritized for EUL developments, which are also convenient to VA health care facilities.
How many homeless veterans are there?
Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.
The number of homeless veterans has decreased by about 50% since 2009, according to HUD’s Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR).
Combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the Global War on Terror who need help – from mental health programs to housing, employment training and job placement assistance – are beginning to seek help from the nation’s community-based homeless veteran service provider organizations. Already stressed by an increasing need for assistance by post-Vietnam-era veterans and strained budgets, homeless service providers are deeply concerned about the influx of combat veterans who will eventually be requesting their support.
Approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) were homeless in 2010. The number of young homeless veterans is increasing, but only constitutes 8.8% of the overall homeless veteran population.
Why are veterans homeless?
In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.
A top priority for homeless veterans is secure, safe, clean housing that offers a supportive environment free of drugs and alcohol.
What services do homeless veterans need?
Homeless veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing and nutritional meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental health counseling; and personal development and empowerment. Veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance. NCHV strongly believes that all programs to assist homeless veterans must focus on helping veterans reach the point where they can obtain and sustain gainful employment. If not, clients will be unable to find and maintain safe, decent, permanent housing.
What are some of the risk factors for veteran homelessness?
In May 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a report titled “Incidence of Homelessness among Veterans and Risk Factors for Becoming Homeless in Veterans.” The report presents findings from a study of roughly 500,000 men and women who separated from military service in 2005 and 2006 and were tracked through Sept. 30, 2010. These veterans had not experienced any episodes of homelessness before their separation from active duty, and utilized DoD (including TRICARE) or VA health care after their separation.
OEF/OIF and women veterans experienced higher homeless incidences after military separation. At 5 years after separation from the military, 3.7% of the veterans experienced an initial episode of homelessness (the newly homeless). OEF/OIF and women veterans experienced higher incidences of homelessness than their non-OEF/OIF and male counterparts. Among the veterans who became homeless, the median times to the first episode of homelessness were close to 3 years, indicating half of new homeless episodes occurred 3 years after discharge from active duty. OEF/OIF homeless veterans encountered their first homeless episode slightly sooner than their non-OEF/OIF counterparts after discharge from active duty.
Veterans who experienced homelessness after military separation were younger, enlisted with lower pay grades, and were more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders and /or traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the time of separation from active duty. At discharge from active duty, 79–84 percent of homeless veterans were under age 35, in contrast to 64–74 percent of domiciled veterans. Most (70–78 percent) of the homeless veterans were enlisted and in the lower pay grades of E1–E4, compared with 39–51 percent of the domiciled veterans. Nearly half or more (from 48 percent for OEF/OIF men to 67 percent for non-OEF/OIF women) of homeless veterans were diagnosed with some mental disorders, about double their domiciled counterparts (from 21 percent for OEF/OIF men to 34 percent for non-OEF/OIF women). The percent of homeless veterans diagnosed with TBI was nearly 2–3 times higher than their domiciled counterparts.
Presence of mental disorders (substance-related disorders and/or mental illness) is the strongest predictor of becoming homeless after discharge from active duty. Nearly half or more (ranging from 48 percent for OEF/OIF men to 67 percent for non-OEF/OIF women) of the newly homeless veterans were diagnosed with some mental disorders prior to discharge from active duty; the rate of diagnosed mental disorders among newly homeless veterans increased to 64–76 percent before becoming homeless.
Homeless veterans, especially women, had received disproportionally higher military sexual trauma (MST)-related treatment than domiciled veterans and the majority of the newly homeless women veterans who received MST-related treatment had received the treatment before they became homeless. The percentages (29 for non-OEF/OIF and 34 for OEF/OIF women, 3 for non-OEF/OIF and 2 for OEF/OIF men) of homeless veterans who had received MST-related treatment were over 3 times higher than those of their domiciled counterparts (5 for non-OEF/OIF and 9 for OEF/OIF women, 0.2 for non-OEF/OIF and 0.3 for OEF/OIF men). Among the homeless women veterans who received MST-related treatment, 60 percent of non-OEF/OIF and 72 percent of OEF/OIF homeless women had received MST treatment prior to their first homeless episode. Among the male homeless veterans who received MST-related treatment, 46 percent of non-OEF/OIF and 53 percent of OEF/OIF homeless men had received the treatment prior to their first homeless episode.
Homeless veteran demographics
13% of the homeless adult population are veterans
20% of the male homeless population are veterans
68% reside in principal cities
32% reside in suburban/rural areas
51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
50% have serious mental illness
70% have substance abuse problems
51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
Who is helping homeless veterans?
The most effective programs for homeless and at-risk veterans are community-based, nonprofit, “veterans helping veterans” groups. Programs that seem to work best feature transitional housing that offers the camaraderie of living in structured, substance-free environments with fellow veterans who are successfully regaining control of their lives. Because government money for homeless veterans is limited and VA serves less than half of this population, it is critical that community groups reach out to help provide the support, resources and opportunities most Americans take for granted: employment, housing and health care.
There are over 2,100 community-based homeless veteran service providers across the country and many other homeless assistance programs that have demonstrated impressive success reaching homeless veterans. These groups are most successful when they work in collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies; other homeless providers; and veteran service organizations. Veterans who participate in these programs have a higher chance of becoming tax-paying, productive citizens again.
When we have set-apart a house well under market value, we provide our private lenders a chance to fund the purchasing and rehab of the house. They can also earn high interest rates- usually 4 to 5 times the rates you can get on the bank CDs and other traditional investment schemes.
On purchasing a new house it requires renovations. The costs will be allotted for the buying price, renovations, carrying prices, price to resell, and a small buffer too for unexpected expenses.
There are several causes, but the main reason is, time and negotiation leverage. Many of the houses we are buying are in need of an urgent sale within 10 to 14 days. A traditional bank needs 30 to 45 days to close a loan. Also, when we purchase by using cash funds our leverage is far greater. Several traditional house sales fall out of contract due to financing issues, and this permits us to negotiate a much lower purchasing cost and reduce our risk.
Lending guidelines are also regularly changing. New requisites include applications, junk fees, approvals and strict investor guidelines. They also bound the number of investment properties that can be purchased by a company.
We make our money on purchasing. We can pay very high returns, but it permits us to buy 20 to 30% below a retail buyer. That instantly creates thousands of bucks in equity. Apart from that, generally we cut out the middleman in transactions such as commissions, loan fees, mortgage broker fees etc. and our attorney costs are also lesser as there is less work for them to review.
Of course, with your cash funding we can offer something, which very few buyers can. We can buy on their timeline in as little as 10 to 14 days. Knowing that we are going to renovate the house and purchasing as-Is condition is a very significant factor for most sellers of distressed property and they will not have to pay any additional fees too.
It is a good question and a valid concern. However, our strategy is not to invest 3 years down the road. Our objective is to buy quickly and sell even faster. Mostly our projects complete in 1 to 2 months and sold in 4 to 5 months. The market does not tend to change over dramatically in a matter of months - actually it is a longer process for an area to decline. Remember, we are purchasing in those strategic areas where inventory is already low and demand is high; which minimizes our risk significantly.
Currently we pay 4 to 5 times what a typical bank CD is paying. Our rate fluctuates very little depending on the purchase price and rehab involved. Almost all of our lenders are paid from 10%. The lower the buying price, sometimes we may afford to pay a little higher rate to ensure our lenders make it worth their time.
Most of our loans are set up on an 8 to 12 month note, but it depends on the project size. If we are doing a pull down and rebuild then we will have to wait on the county inspectors for approvals. This can cause delays. But, we have a tendency to account for all of these details upfront and provide you estimated time frame for the return on your investment.
It is very important for us that we don't waste your time. However, sometimes, situations may occur where we find a buyer immediately. In this situation, we give you two options: either we can move the note to another property, or give you a minimum of 3 months interest. At that point most investors see the strength of our purchasing ability, and simply move the note to another property.
Generally, we pay a large lump sum amount at closing on a short term note. It is much easier to manage for both of us, particularly if we are working out of a retirement account. On a longer note, we pay monthly, just like a usual mortgage.
No, there’s no government supported guarantee on such privately held real estate notes. You are getting protection from the equity in the real estate. If at any time we default on the note then you have legal right to take the house (basically foreclose on us). Many investors laugh about it and say, “I hope you are a day behind on payments and I’d gladly take this one back”. You have to keep in mind that we plan for the worst, and our houses have thousands of dollars of equity in them; and in worst case scenario, frequently we don’t make “as much” as we expect for.
Yes, there are established tax guidelines in this regard, and it is completely legal. However, we always advocate the services of a custodian to invest retirement funds tax deferred or tax free.
We purchase, we pay for a title search as well as a title policy on the house, simply as we do in a typical transaction.
If we buy a renovation, we buy a builders risk policy i.e. Vacant Dwelling Policy. In case of any damage, insurance distributions would be used to repair or rebuild the property, or it can used to pay you off.
This is our policy to pay for all the closing costs so that all your investment goes to work for you. We shall pay for the closing agent, notary fees, document preparation fees, overnight mail fees, bank wire fees and recording prices. We do not charge any commission or fees from our private lenders.
No, we don't pool your funds. Your funding will be tied to at least one piece of property secured by a deed of trust.
In such unlikely scenario, we would just transfer ownership of the property to you, if possible. For any reason if we didn't (or could not) transfer, then you will have all the legal rights of a secured lender. In case of default, the best way to legally protect your interest would be to hire an attorney. They generally would try to get your investment back, any collection costs, any unpaid interest, and all your attorney fees and perhaps even more. A legal representative could advise you if it is sensible to foreclose or seek ownership of the property to guard or recover your investment.