After COVID moratoriums expire, registry of homeless Veterans begins filling up
MINNEAPOLIS — This holiday season, too many Veterans have no place to call home. But the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans is on a mission to change that.
The growing number of tent cities across the state is proof there is a need for housing in Minnesota. Inside the scattered encampments, homeless Veterans have found refuge. MACV sees a rise in Veterans looking for help when temperatures drop.
“On the homeless Veteran registry today there are 280 veterans across the state that are in need of homes permanent homes,” MACV statewide program manager Lindsey Hofer said.
Hofer says the number of Veterans on the homeless registry has increased. She noticed it when the effort to keep people in their homes during the height of COVID-19 expired.
“We were on a good downward trend, and then the moratorium ended this year. And that’s pretty much where the spike has come from, in my opinion at least,” Hofer said.
The end of the eviction moratorium, low apartment vacancy rates, and higher rent prices have all contributed to more veterans becoming homeless for the first time. Many of them are women; female Veterans are looking to escape homelessness in big numbers.
“A lot of women are more likely to be doubled up with relatives or close friends, and after the past two years they may not be able to do that anymore. And they are kind of coming back into the homeless registry response system,” Hofer said.
MACV is using subsidy programs to help veterans with rent. What MACV needs most is landlords willing to take a chance on housing a Veteran.
“People who are willing to accept, maybe on paper not the ideal tenant, but someone we can provide support to the landlord, to the tenant and the veteran to keep them in housing,” Hofer said.
MACV has made incredible strides in helping house our unsheltered service members by working with community partners to build or purchase new properties. Support from the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs and the State legislature made these buys possible. Buying these buildings allows MACV to say yes to veterans looking for housing who have backgrounds that otherwise would not make them ideal tenants.
Several Veterans in need of housing work full-time. MACV says the need to find landlords willing to rent to homeless vets is crucial. Click here to learn more about how you can help MACV’s mission.