Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers can be used to port to a catchment area in a different part of the country. However, if the veteran wants to port outside the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) catchment area, the VAMC case manager must approve the move.
For VASH Vouchers, the catchment area is the geographical area served by the local Veterans Administration Medical Center. The catchment area usually consists of the city in which the VAMC is located, and surrounding counties.
Part 1: Contact Your VAMC Case Manager
To port their VASH Voucher, a veteran will submit a written request to move, to both the VAMC case manager and the Public Housing Agency (PHA) caseworker. Three months advance notice is best, and at least a 30 day written request is usually required.
The VAMC case manager will allow the move if there is an open VASH voucher available in the new catchment area, as well as the needed case management and supportive services are available for the veteran. Moving expenses and travel arrangements will be the responsibility of the veteran.
As a priority, the VAMC will give available VASH vouchers to homeless veterans already residing in the catchment area.
Part 2: VASH Portability Policy
The policy for portability of a VASH voucher is as follows:
A veteran may move inside the VAMC’s catchment area, if the same VAMC continues to provide case management services.
Example: A veteran has been awarded a VASH voucher. The veteran lives in Indianapolis but wants to move to Greenwood, Indiana. The VAMC in Indianapolis also serves Greenwood and case management services would be from the same case manager. The VAMC would most likely give approval for the veteran to use the VASH voucher to move to Greenwood, Indiana.
A veteran can move to a new catchment area only if the original VAMC verifies the new VAMC has an available case management opening.
Example: A veteran has been awarded a VASH voucher. The veteran lives in Kansas City but wants to move to Laurinburg, North Carolina. The VAMC in Fayetteville, North Carolina has Laurinburg in its catchment area. The Kansas City VAMC case manager will contact the Fayetteville VAMC to make sure there is case management available. If so, the VAMC case manager in Kansas City, will most likely approve the veteran to move with a VASH voucher to Laurinburg, NC.
The veteran cannot move under portability if there is no PHA designated to administer the VASH voucher program, in the area in which the veteran wants to move.
If there is a PHA to administer the VASH voucher in the new catchment area, the new PHA has the option to ‘absorb’ or 'bill' the VASH voucher.
Absorbing means that the veteran may use one of the new PHA’s own VASH vouchers.
Billing means that the new PHA may choose to bill the originating PHA for administration of the original VASH voucher.
This can only happen if the VAMC case manager verifies that case management services will be provided by the new VAMC case manager, and has approved the move for the veteran.
Part 3: Project-Based VASH Voucher Portability Rules
A Project-Based VASH Voucher can only be used at the property for which it is issued. Project-Based VASH Vouchers are not portable.
However, a veteran may choose to move from the Project-Based VASH property after the first 12 months, if certain conditions are met. At that time, the PHA may issue the veteran a tenant-based voucher or a regular VASH voucher.
Persons seeking a regular VASH Voucher can contact their local VA facility.