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VA reverses plan to reduce housing program for homeless veterans after outrage

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reversed the course of a plan to essentially complete a $ 460 million program that helps provide housing for homeless veterans after facing a setback when the news of the decision was broken.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a statement that "there will be absolutely no change in funds to support our programs for the homeless" and that the department "will not change the money from any homeless program to the program." Choice, "which allows veterans to seek medical care at facilities outside the VA.

Shulkin also said that over the next six months "he will solicit the opinion of our local VA leaders and external stakeholders on how best to allocate our funds to the geographic areas that need it most."

"Based on that information, we will present proposals for fiscal year 2019 on how to improve the targeting of our funds for programs for the homeless, "he added.

Politico reported on Wednesday that the VA told defenders and state officials in a December 1 telephone call for the program, which provides housing vouchers to veterans through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). ), be drastically reduced.

Money allocated to the p According to reports, Shulkin said that the rograms would go to the VA hospitals for them to use as they see fit.

Veterans advocates, lawmakers and some HUD officials prevented it, claiming that it would make conditions worse for veterans, more than half of them housed through the program have problems such as chronic diseases or substance abuse.

The reversal adds to a strange series of events in which the VA seemed to contradict its own messages.

The VA made the decision to cut the program in September, but "It did not consult with HUD or veterans groups before doing so," Politico reported.

Shulkin and HUD Secretary Ben Carson held a joint press conference on November 27 at a shelter for the homeless in Washington DC, during which both announced a new commitment to end homelessness among veterans from the USA UU

On December 1, Shulkin's staff said on the phone call that the department was finishing the program.

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