Resources for Veterans Facing Eviction

veteran eviction

Veterans Have Access to Extra Protections Against Eviction, But Too Often They’re Still Not Enough

The “homeless veteran” is something of a stereotype these days and an all too common occurrence. In many cases, the inciting event that led to that veteran’s homelessness was an eviction. The causes of eviction are as varied as its effects, but it’s always a challenging situation to recover from.

Veterans are one group that is more vulnerable to eviction than average. Because of this vulnerability, special programs are also in place to help veterans avoid eviction. Unfortunately, plenty of people still slip through the cracks of this system.

What Puts Veterans at Risk of Eviction?

Tragically, military service can take a heavy toll on people. Mental and physical health concerns, disabilities, and reliance on drugs or alcohol can all be after-effects that jeopardize stable housing. And if that list sounds familiar to you, you’re right. The stress of homelessness can cause or exacerbate all of those things. Typically, veterans face less stigma for them than unhoused people do. However, that ounce of compassion quickly goes away if they become homeless themselves.

There are also the various causes of no-fault evictions, which is when a landlord just decides to evict you even though you’ve done nothing wrong. It could happen because the landlord or an immediate family member wants to move into the unit. Or they may want to renovate the property or just feel like selling it to make a quick buck in an inflated housing market.

How Does Eviction Impact Veterans?

In the best-case scenario, eviction is still a massive, expensive headache that can limit a person’s access to housing for the foreseeable future. 

Assuming you can find somewhere to stay after being evicted, you’ll still incur moving expenses for rental applications, security deposits, boxes, moving assistance, storage, and a myriad of other things. These sudden expenses would be difficult to cover in the best of times, especially if you’re struggling to make rent (which is not the only cause of eviction but still a common one.) 

Others may be able to find temporary housing with a friend or family member. However, it probably won’t last for seven years, which is the amount of time an eviction stays on your record. Most landlords who see that a potential tenant has been evicted will be hesitant to rent their property. This is especially true if there are other applicants to consider, which there often are in the current rental market.

Even if you managed to scrape together a down payment or find a program that didn’t require one, an eviction on record could prevent you from securing a mortgage to buy a house and get out from under the thumb of landlords forever. 

Evictions on your record can even stop you from getting a job! Employers who pull your credit score will be able to see it and “take it into consideration” when deciding whether to hire you or not. 

Because of all these far-reaching and long-lasting effects, eviction can propel people into homelessness and keep them there since they’ll have immense difficulty finding housing or employment for the next seven years. And all of this can happen just because your landlord wanted a change of pace.

What Programs Exist to Help Veterans Avoid Eviction?

If you or a Veteran you know needs immediate assistance to avoid eviction or loss of housing, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID VET or (877) 424-3838.

Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the people there can help connect you with the appropriate program for your situation- if there is one. This is an excellent option for finding the right program because information about each can be challenging to find. You may miss the one that could help you the most. Calling the hotline will connect you with an expert who should know all about every program, ensuring nothing is missed.

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program provides case management for very low-income veterans that can help prevent them from losing their homes. If that doesn’t work, they can also help you find a more suitable housing solution for your situation. SSVF can also help you if you’re already homeless and need to be rehoused.

The Enhanced-Use Lease Program (EUL) is designed to take underutilized properties owned by the VA and make them available for use as supportive housing. It also provides job training, financial management education, haircuts, computer and laundry facilities, fitness centers, and other services. Priority for housing in these facilities is given to veterans and their families. They’re typically located near VA healthcare facilities to make healthcare more accessible for residents.

If you’re a veteran who is already experiencing homelessness, you may be eligible for a housing voucher that can get you back into housing through HUD-VASH.

This works by providing you with a rental assistance voucher you can use to pay for privately owned housing. Of course, the viability of this solution depends on affordable housing supply in your area, which is never enough. But you might get lucky.

Additional VA programs also help connect veterans with domiciliary care, employment services, health care access, and more. You can view an overview of each of those programs here.

California also has legislation that protects veterans from housing discrimination, eviction, and price gouging. This helps veterans with VASH vouchers secure housing. Previously, it was perfectly legal for a landlord to not accept that as payment and decline to rent to a veteran using it. The legislation also:

  • Limits annual rent increases
  • Lowers the amount landlords can charge servicemembers for a security deposit
  • Adds just-cause protections to prevent unfair evictions

Kayla Robbins

Kayla Robbins


Kayla Robbins is a freelance writer who works with big-hearted brands and businesses. When she's not working, she enjoys knitting socks, rolling d20s, and binging episodes of The Great British Bake Off.

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