HUD-VA (VASH) Pros and Cons Request

17 Replies

We have purchased our first BRRR and a potential tenant has approached us to rent the SFH at the rent we are asking. She indicated she was a school teacher now but previously served in the military and qualifies for a HUD VA (VASH) rental assistance program. Has anyone in GA had experience with this program that would be willing to share the pros and cons? Thanks.

I was contacted by a HUD VASH coordinator but rented the property to a non-vet before we could continue further. I also worked for 30 years in a VA Medical Center in Georgia.

The vouchers are initially provided through the local Housing Authority ("Section 8" folks) but typically managed through your local VAMC.   Your unit would need to go through the same inspection process as Section 8 and in my neck of the woods by these Housing Authority inspectors who are often overworked to begin with so you need to double check how long to wait on this.

Each veteran is assigned a caseworker (often a VAMC social worker) who monitors them MUCH closer than caseworkers assigned to Section 8 folks.  In our program regular home visits by the case workers were very common.

Some landlords reported good experiences with these vets; others not so well.  Keep in mind that in some cases these veterans were homeless because, quite frankly, they had run through all the "good graces" and patience of any and all family members.   Both tobacco and alcohol use were higher in this group (it would benefit you to make sure there is no inside smoking allowed).

Finally, the entire goal of the program is not to provide a veteran with a voucher forever but rather to help them become self sufficient so they can, down the road, pay their own way regarding rent and utilities.  Their voucher would then be turned over to the next homeless veteran.

I hope this helps provide you with some information regarding this program.

Gail

This post has been removed.

Thank Gail,

This was very helpful!

I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks,

Stacey

Sorry it posted twice.

im seriously considering  this , great post

@Tereal Wilsonn My son and I are working to finish our first rental, a duplex in Conneaut Ohio. My hope is to go VA HUD. We would get guaranteed rent checks from VA HUD and case workers to help the Veteran. I’m told they also cover damages which HUD does not. It looks like a great way to help a Vet and rent at the same time.

@jim pintchuk Did you end up doing the VA deal? Coincidentally, I'm looking at buying a multifamily that is currently renting to people in this VA program in Ohio.

@John Brennan we are just finishing renovations. Hopefully We will rent unfolded this program soon.

Following as we are also looking into this program. It's unclear to me if we as the landlord have to do anything to qualify or if its just a matter of waiting for a VASH tenant to approach us. I'm in Ohio. 

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by @Nicole Heasley :

Following as we are also looking into this program. It's unclear to me if we as the landlord have to do anything to qualify or if its just a matter of waiting for a VASH tenant to approach us. I'm in Ohio. 

Hey nicloe, i believe only thing we need to do to qualify is to pass a section 8 inspection to qualify but , just walk into your local VA medical center

Originally posted by @Jim Pintchuk :
@Tereal Wilsonn

My son and I are working to finish our first rental, a duplex in Conneaut Ohio. My hope is to go VA HUD. We would get guaranteed rent checks from VA HUD and case workers to help the Veteran. I'm told they also cover damages which HUD does not. It looks like a great way to help a Vet and rent at the same time.

Hey jim how did the VA Hud go

Hi Tereal

We are ion the home stretch finishing renovations.  We should be signing up with VAHUD within the next 30 -60 days.

Originally posted by @Nicole Heasley :

@Tereal Wilsonn Thank you!

 youre welcome, not sure what i did to help, but if i can do anything to assist.

I have a question about this topic.  If you do choose to utilize this program in a multifamily unit, will it make the unit harder to sell later on?  I've heard that section 8 is a little harder to sell.  But it also sounds like Section 8 may have a harsher stigma than a program like this?  Thoughts?

@Devin Tang - Most likely not, but you are correct that some buyers avoid HUD programs. What will sell though is having a full building of strong leases. I think HUD contacts helps more than hurts for resale, but with everything else, it depends on the buyer.

@Jim 

@Jim Pintchuk - Did someone official tell you HUD Vash will cover damages? That has not been my experience. They will front the deposit which can be used for damages, but beyond that the lease is with the tenant and the voucher is only for the rent portion HUD agrees to pay.

Having had HUD Vash tenants, I'll tell you this is a tough, heart wrenching program. Most HUD Vash voucher holders are going to have a disability - usually one you cannot see. If they are in the program, they have hit rock bottom. This program is designed to get people out of homelessness. I have found that they tent to have trouble living in a congested area with alot of people close by - IE an apartment building. You can't deny them if they apply though, based solely on the HUD Vash status, because that would likely be discriminating against their disability. I have only had experience with older, single male HUD Vash recipients holders. In one case I inherited the tenant and every single other tenant in the 4 plex, plus both single family home neighbors to either side, had restraining orders against our HUD Vash tenant. He was paranoid which made him threaten people around him. It was clear to me he wasn't taking his meds, and his VASH caseworker was at his wits end because you can only help people who will help themselves. He ended up getting thrown in jail and we had no choice but to evict him, which broke my heart because that meant he lost his voucher. I had another who refused to pay the $32 rent portion that was his. He I really believe was offering some sort of a low end prostitution ring out of his apartment. There was way too much traffic coming and going and for a long time I thought he was selling drugs, but had no proof. Eventually he called from the psyc ward to say he thought someone broke into his apartment and asked us to go change the locks. I went with a cop who surveyed the place and found TVs with scratched off serial numbers, a preponderance of sex paraphernalia, and recreational drugs, but no sign of a break in. We ended up evicting him too because his nonsense became such a nuisance to the other residents in the building. He easily could have blocked us from being allowed to do this by just paying his $32, but he refused.

Just be cautious and screen just like you would anyone else.  And be prepared that you may have to make some heart wrenching decisions. 

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