Patrick Administration Announces 6 Million to Support New Housing for Homeless Veterans
CHELSEA – November 4, 2013 –Continuing the Patrick Administration’s commitment to improving housing infrastructure to support growth and opportunity throughout the state, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced $6 million in affordable housing resources to build 44 new units of housing for homeless veterans in three communities across the Commonwealth.
"The men and women who have served our country in the military have earned our help in getting them back on their feet," said Governor Patrick. “These resources will provide affordable housing opportunities for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our Commonwealth and our nation.”
The announcement took place at the North Bellingham Veterans project in Chelsea, which will create 10 new units of housing for homeless veterans with funding received today. Also receiving funding today are Montello Welcome Home veterans project in Brockton, which will create 22 units of housing, and the East Howard Street veterans project in Quincy, which will create 12 units of housing.
“The Patrick Administration has taken a comprehensive approach to housing in the Commonwealth that prioritizes permanent solutions that lead to stable, appropriate housing,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. “By committing to expanding and improving affordable housing stock in Massachusetts, we are reducing homelessness and creating new opportunities for this important population.
"No one who has ever worn a uniform in service to this country should lack adequate shelter or a roof over their head," said Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee. "Massachusetts is the national leader in providing veterans services because of the Patrick Administration's commitment to creating unique and meaningful partnerships to maximize resources and deliver services. The 44 units on new housing will build upon this commitment and continue the Commonwealth on a path to be the first state in the nation to end veteran’s homelessness."
“I am thankful to the Patrick Administration, DHCD and for all the work the Neighborhood Developers have done to make this project possible,” Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D-Revere) said. “It’s imperative we continue to support initiatives that reduce homelessness, especially for our military heroes who have sacrificed so much for all of us.”
Today’s announcement comes during a week dedicated to preventing and reducing the number of homeless veterans in the Commonwealth. Throughout the week, DHCD and the Office of Veterans’ Affairs will showcase the progress being made to end homelessness among veterans in the state.
This is just the latest effort of the Administration to support the Commonwealth’s veterans. In July, DHCD announced $3.3 million in affordable housing resources to build 35 new units of housing for homeless veterans in Shrewsbury.
The Patrick Administration’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, chaired by Undersecretary Gornstein, recently released a comprehensive plan to end homelessness among the Commonwealth’s veteran community. The plan has a goal of reducing the number of homeless veterans by 1,000 by 2015, which will virtually eliminate homelessness among this population. With a more seamless access to housing resources for those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, and with increased resources being devoted to prevention and permanent housing, Massachusetts has accelerated housing placements and ensured more effective resource targeting.
“There is clearly a great demand for quality supportive housing for homeless veterans living in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and we are fortunate that a number of organizations have stepped up to meet that need,” said Roger Herzog, executive director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), a public/private agency that provides financing and technical assistance to nonprofit affordable housing developers. “In the last several years, across the state, we have provided financing to non-profit housing developers in partnership with veterans service providers to ensure that these individuals and families are not only housed, but receiving the kind of support services and care they need to move forward. Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of the commitment Massachusetts has made to those who have served their country.”
About the projects:
The North Bellingham Veterans Home is a re-use project located in the heart of downtown Chelsea and sponsored by The Neighborhood Developers. DHCD will support the project with state bond subsidies, and the City will also provide support for the project. North Bellingham Veterans Home will feature the adaptive re-use of a former American Legion Hall into 10 units of supportive housing for homeless individuals. There will be a preference for veterans in tenant selection, and services will be provided to the new tenants.
Montello Welcome Home is a new construction project located in Brockton and sponsored by Father Bills and Mainspring. DHCD will support the project with state bond funds, and the City will also provide support to Montello. The completed project will provide 22 affordable units for veterans, homeless individuals, and homeless families. The sponsor will also provide new tenants with support services.
East Howard Street in Quincy is a new construction project sponsored by the Neighborhood Housing Services of the South Shore, Inc. DHCD will support the project with state bond subsidies, and the City will also provide funds to the project. Upon completion, East Howard Street will include 12 units of affordable housing for veterans and their families, including eight units for households earning less than 30% of area median income. Among the new tenants will be veterans making the transition from homelessness.