There are numerous programs for affordable housing be it for you, your spouse [or surviving spouse], or your family. Reviewing all of these options can seem overwhelming; however, if you take some small steps in the beginning the process is much more manageable. Keep in mind many of assistance programs may be coordinated at a local level, but the rules for the programs start at the Federal level, then the State level, often to the County level, and in some cases the city or community level you are seeking housing. Therefore you may need some assistance.
The Foundation always recommends that the veteran or surviving spouse contact and become registered with their County or Tribal Veteran Service Officer (CVSO or TVSO) or a Veteran Service Officer affiliated with a recognized Veterans Service Organization (e.g., American Legion "The Legion", Veterans of Foreign Wars - VFW, Disabled American Veterans - DAV, etc.),a VA Service Officer if you are registered with a VA Medical Center (VAMC), or your closest Vets Center. In addition to a national VA housing responder that can be reached at 1-877-4AID-VET; you can contact organizations in your community that focus on assisting veterans [or surviving spouses] and their families.
The Federal government has the largest programs that run across a number of Departments, including Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs, and others. States oftentimes have programs that run parallel to Federal Programs, but they have added dollars from the State government to bolster programs - Counties and Cities oftentimes do the same.
Additionally, nonprofit organizations (some that are attached to banks and lenders, others affiliated with developers, and more) are available in many locales. ForRent.com (a part of CoStar Group, Inc.) refers to itself as the nation's premier online full service rental companies. ForRent.com did a complete Blog on Veterans Housing Assistance.
In closing, First, keep in mind we often need a co-pilot to provide the necessary directions while you are trying to get through a a day at a time. You must also keep in mind that while you are seeking housing assistance so are tens of thousands others. So getting to the right program may require a co-pilot that recognizes your situation and can steer you to the right program.
Second, housing can be a short-term living arrangement to keep you off the street (i.e., homeless), a rental option, or a home. Herein we are talking about affordable situations (i.e., a government agency or program, a nonprofit, etc.) is assisting in your housing for a short-term - until you have the means to get employment or VA benefits to assist in paying for your shelter.
Third, regardless of veteran status [or surviving spouse] programs are not cookie cutter (i.e., Federal government programs are different across departments and funding cycles, similarly State programs are different), and nonprofits follow their own guidelines.
Finally, when seeking housing resources be sure you have all of your records with you, keep a notebook with your questions to ask (e.g., homeless shelter, short-term apartment or house, long-term housing, etc.), write down references (i.e., program name, person, address, telephone number, and when to call), write down the name of the person you are talking with and if they are going to be your advocate, etc.
Your contributions can lead to housing for a veteran or his or her family or a surviving spouse. Your generosity will provide direct housing assistance or provide additional housing assistance in concert with a veteran service organization (VSO).