(May 13, 2017)
– Governor Larry Hogan was today joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary George Owings, officials from the VA Maryland Health Care System and HELP USA, as well as community stakeholders for the groundbreaking of the HELP Veterans Village. Located at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, the village will create 75 newly renovated and newly constructed units of housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans.
“Anyone who spent their lives in service to others has more than earned the support they deserve to live, work, raise a family, and retire in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “It is so important that we honor and take care of all of our veterans, and that’s exactly what the Perry Point Village project, here in Cecil County, will help us do.”
“HELP USA has been working on this project for almost a decade and we are gratified to see it finally begin construction,” said David Cleghorn, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at HELP USA. “In a few short months, homeless veterans will start moving into brand-new homes on this beautiful site. From day one, they will be surrounded by clinical support and services from the VA, case management from HELP USA, and most importantly by each other, a group of like-minded veterans beginning their new lives. This project would not have been possible without the leadership of Governor Hogan, Assemblyman Hornberger, Secretary Holt and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. “
“The opening of the HELP Veterans Village will allow us to further our efforts to end veteran homelessness throughout Maryland by providing permanent and affordable housing close to important VA health care services and support programs,” said Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., Director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “We all have a moral obligation to ensure that the men and women who proudly wore the cloth of our nation have access to affordable housing, and that is what we are doing through this innovative partnership between the VA Maryland Health Care System, HELP USA and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.”
“The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to have helped shepherd this project to fruition through our financing and this partnership,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Today the state takes its first major step to address homelessness across Maryland and by aiding veterans in their time of need.”
With the award of 75 project-based VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, every home in the village area will have subsidized rent that is exclusively for the benefit of at-risk and formerly homeless veterans and their family members. The location of the housing is ideal because of its close proximity to a full range of VA support programs and services at Perry Point and the transportation resources that are available in the local community.
The project is being financed through various Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development resources, including short-term and long term bonds, 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a Rental Housing Works loan, and energy funds. Additional financing comes from philanthropic support from The Home Depot Foundation, The Citi Foundation, and Northrop Grumman.
The project is being developed by HELP USA, a national homeless service and low-income housing nonprofit. Founded in 1986, the organization has built more than 16 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties and developed over 2,000 units of transitional and permanent housing in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. The project was designed by Kramer + Marks Architects, and will be built by general contractor Harkins Builders Inc. The HELP Veterans Village is one of seven developments currently underway at HELP USA.