Homeless veterans are getting some new attention this year.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced the final allocations of more than 10,000 vouchers to local public housing authorities to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans.

The vouchers are part of HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, known as HUD-VASH. Participating public housing authorities work closely with Veterans Affairs medical centers to provide support services and case management.

In another move, the House of Representatives approved, by a vote of 417-2, the Homes for Heroes Act of 2009 by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas). H.R. 403 calls for the establishment of a special assistant for veteran affairs at HUD, who will be responsible for coordinating all programs aimed at vets and serving as a liaison with Veterans Affairs.

The bill, which has been referred to the Senate, would also expand the HUD-VASH program by authorizing 20,000 vouchers annually and making the program permanent and would provide $1 million in HUD grants to assist housing and service providers to deliver housing projects for vets.

Nearly 300,000 veterans may experience homelessness during the course of a year, said Green.