September 20, 2017 06:27 PM
It's a step in the fight to end homelessness among military veterans in Minnesota.
The opening Wednesday of a new 100-unit apartment community, called Veterans East, will help those who are need of a fresh start and a home of their own.
The five-story apartment community is located adjacent to the Veterans Hospital near Fort Snelling in Minneapolis.
It features a lobby with security, a community room, computer stations and an onsite laundry facility. Each unit is considered an efficiency with appliances included.
Diana Simmons is an Air Force veteran. She served for more than 14 years and traveled to a number of different countries. Hard times after her service left Simmons homeless.
"I made it through," she said. "I am excited about the new place, and because I'm a veteran my rent will be $437."
According to BDC Management Company, which manages the community, an onsite coordinator will assist with health care, life skills, education, financial management, benefits assistance and employment resources.
Heidi Rathman, the senior vice president of the Community Housing Development Corporation, states the apartment complex is phase two of a project to provide housing for veterans.
"This building is kind of a phase two of a building that we built about 10 or 12 years ago on the same campus," Rathman said. "And since that building has been occupied we have had at any one point up to 300 people on that wait list."
The project has a price tag of $14.3 million, raised through public- and private-sector partners.
UnitedHealth Group was the largest private investor. Officials state $5.2 million was provided in equity through a partnership with Minnesota Equity Fund and Cinnarie, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits approved by the state. Another $7.7 million in deferred loan funds was provided by Minnesota Housing.
Homelessness among Minnesota's veteran population has been reduced by 61 percent, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Updated: September 20, 2017 06:27 PM
Created: September 20, 2017 03:24 PM
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