50 More Units of Housing for Veterans
The New Jersey Health Care System of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative Inc. in conjunction with Peabody Properties, Community Hope Inc. and Windover Construction, are pleased to announce that construction of Phase II of Valley Brook Village has begun. The project will contain 50 additional units of rental affordable apartments with on-site support services for homeless Veterans. Expansion of the Valley Brook Village, located on the Lyons campus of the New Jersey Health Care System, will add to the existing 62-unit development completed in October 2013. The new three-story building will be oriented around a common village green to compliment Phase I and will provide permanent supportive housing for homeless Veterans.
Peabody Properties Principal & Chief Operating Officer Melissa Fish-Crane said, “Plans have been underway for the second phase for the past several years.” She reported “the partners anticipate completing the development and welcoming our Veterans to their new homes within twelve to thirteen months.”
Community Hope provides on-site case management and employment services to Veterans residing at Valley Brook Village I. Community Hope CEO J. Michael Armstrong said the project is greatly needed. “This project has been a life-saver for the Veterans who reside here. It has been a place to call home for Veterans who have served as far back as World War II to those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Despite the age differences and various military experiences, our Veterans have established a community at Valley Brook where they share the commonality of being Veterans and the mutual experiences of having been soldiers in service to our country.”
Valley Brook Village is built on land provided through the federal Enhanced Use Lease Program on the VA New Jersey Health Care campus in Bernards Township. In 2017, the project was awarded $1,122,000 in federal low-income housing tax credits from the NJHMFA. TD Bank, which purchased the tax credits through NEF Inc., is also providing construction and permanent funding for the development. The Township has also committed funding for the project from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Additional funding has been awarded from the County of Somerset’s Homeless Trust Fund Program and as well as funding from the VA and a number of private foundations, including the HOME Depot Foundation.
With the first phase of Valley Brook Village serving as a testament to the success of VA’s use of its Enhanced Use Lease Program, making land and resources available to help serve the needs of our homeless Veterans, there is no doubt that Phase II will be just as successful, opening the doors to Veterans who will soon call it home.