The HSS Unit leads and supports initiatives to expand and improve housing and social service resources available to NYC veterans and their families, and provides assistance to veterans navigating existing resources. Our top priority is working with homeless veterans, developing and sustaining a system that rapidly rehouses all those that become homeless, and working with our public and private partners to prevent homelessness in the first place.
Through unprecedented coordination between City and federal agencies, landlords, developers, and nonprofit partners, New York City has reduced veteran homelessness by nearly 90% in the last five years. In December 2015, NYC became the largest city in the country to be certified by the federal government for ending chronic veteran homelessness - i.e. homelessness for our most vulnerable veterans, and is rapidly approaching "functional zero"— a system where all new homeless veterans are rapidly rehoused within 90 days of entering the homeless system.
As a lead agency in New York City's effort to reach and sustain Functional Zero, DVS has worked with its partners to leverage and expand the resources needed to provide subsidized housing to veterans and create or improve the programs and policies needed to help veterans navigate the habitually tight New York City rental market. This includes three innovative new systems to help veterans successful connect to and maintain affordable housing: