Struggling military veterans will have access to new housing and resources to help end the cycle of homelessness, as construction is now underway for a new, affordable-housing community in Minneapolis.
During a ceremonial groundbreaking for Veterans East, veterans groups, project partners and community leaders heralded the new development as vital in helping end homelessness among military veterans in Minnesota. According to Heading Home Minnesota, a public-private partnership to end homelessness, more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless on any given night, including more than 279 veterans.
Funding for the $14.3 million veterans’ community, developed by the Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), was secured through a collaboration of public- and private-sector partners.
“We are pleased to begin construction on this important new community that will serve veterans who have struggled with homelessness,” said Elizabeth Flannery, president of CHDC. “So many partners have come together to help Veterans East become a place for veterans to call home.”
Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is the largest private investor, providing $5.2 million in equity through a partnership with Minnesota Equity Fund, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits approved by the state. Minnesota Housing, the other major investor, is providing $7.7 million in deferred loan funds for the new development. Additional funding includes $500,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines; $350,000 from Hennepin County; $260,000 from CHDC affiliates; and $290,000 in energy and sales tax rebates.
“This new community will be a model for providing permanent housing and services for military veterans,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, who co-chairs the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness. “We are honored to join with so many partners to help end veteran and chronic homelessness.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to play an integral part in helping make a difference in the lives of military veterans who have given so much for our country,” said retired Rear Adm. Elizabeth S. Niemyer, Chief Program Officer, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, a UnitedHealth Group company that provides health care services for nearly 2.9 million service members, military retirees and their families. “This is an important new housing community that will have a tremendous impact in serving military veterans in our state for years to come.”
When completed in Summer 2017, the new 100-unit efficiency apartment community will provide permanent supportive housing for veterans struggling with homelessness. Through partnerships with the Veterans Administration, CHDC, BDC Management Company and Hennepin County, Veterans East will include onsite services to assist residents with health care, case management, life skills, financial management, benefits assistance, education and employment resources.