For Immediate Release - July 15, 2013

Patrick Administration Announces $3.3 Million to Build 35 Units of Housing for Homeless Veterans In Shrewsbury

Boston – July 15, 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 today announced $3.3 million in affordable housing resources to build 35 new units of housing for homeless veterans in Shrewsbury.

“Creating affordable housing helps to generate jobs, grow local businesses and strengthen our communities” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Government’s role is to help people help themselves, and these resources will help provide affordable and reliable housing opportunities for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our Commonwealth and our nation.”

The announcement took place at the non-profit Veterans Inc., which will rehabilitate an underutilized facility in Shrewsbury into 35 units for homeless veterans.

“The Patrick Administration has taken a comprehensive approach to housing in the Commonwealth that prioritizes permanent solutions that lead to stable, appropriate housing,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development and Chair of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness. “By committing to expanding and improving affordable housing stock in Massachusetts, we are reducing homelessness and creating new opportunities for this important population.

“Providing safe and affordable housing for our returning veterans must be a high priority,” Rep. Jim McGovern said.  “Veterans Inc. has a long and proud tradition of serving this community.  I commend them and the Patrick Administration for their commitment to this issue.”

"Massachusetts is the national leader in providing services to veterans and military families for many reasons, but none more so than the strong collaborations we have made to maximize resources and provide world-class, comprehensive benefits to our veterans and their families," said Department of Veterans' Services Secretary Coleman Nee. “No one who has ever worn the uniform of this great nation should struggle to find a roof over their head. The funding announced today is a great example of the combined efforts of state and private sector resources and I applaud DHCD and Veterans Inc. as we continue the fight against veterans' homelessness.  Projects like this will enable Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to end veterans’ homelessness.”

“The men and women of our armed forces risk their lives to ensure that we can enjoy many freedoms. When these brave soldiers return home as veterans, we must uphold our promise to providing opportunities to them, such as affordable housing,” stated Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). “I am honored to stand with Veterans Inc. to ensure that affordable housing for our veterans remains a high priority.”

"We must always be committed to making sure that our servicemen and women will have the necessary resources available to them as they return home and transition back into civilian life,” said State Representative Matthew A. Beaton. “I'm pleased that Shrewsbury will have the continued honor through Veterans Inc. to show our commitment to our veterans by assisting them with this much needed housing."

“We are so excited to have been awarded this funding from the State Department of Housing and Community Development that will support 25 units for homeless veterans and play a vital role in improving the quality of life for veterans and their families in our community,” says Vincent Perrone, Veterans Inc. President and CEO.

The Patrick Administration’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness recently released the Commonwealth’s Plan to End Homelessness Among Veterans. 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. Now 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.

“This funding for housing will help us to strengthen existing services, expand support, and focus on healthcare and workforce needs for our veterans,” said Denis Leary, Veterans Inc. Executive Director. “We are honored to have the support of Congressman McGovern, Undersecretary Gornstein, Secretary Nee, and our legislative delegation, whose assistance and backing helped to make this possible.”

###