Governor Quinn Announces New Affordable Housing Units for Veterans

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Quinn in May 2010, holding up a bill he signed into law moments before (96th General Assembly, SB 3429), which requires state government to conduct an energy audit of buildings that will be used for future energy efficiency standards. (Chris Eaves on Flikr. Creative Commons license)

Veteran Housing Developments to Serve Illinois’ Heroes Suffering from Homelessness

CHICAGO –-(ENEWSPF)–October 26, 2014.  Governor Pat Quinn today announced new veteran rental housing developments to ensure Illinois veterans have access to safe, quality and affordable housing. The new veteran housing developments in the Chicago area are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to honor and support the men and women who have served our nation.

“Those of us on the homefront need to take care of our service members who have borne the battle,” Governor Quinn said. ”That means making sure our veterans have access to job opportunities, education, and safe and affordable housing. New housing units for our veterans will help ensure our heroes have the comforts of home they deserve. Our commitment to affordable housing for service members is part of what makes Illinois the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.”

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to three affordable housing developments that will collectively provide 150 new rental apartments for Illinois’ servicemembers and their families. These new housing developments, in partnership with non-profit and private organizations, will help address challenges that many of today’s veterans face such as disabilities and homelessness.

Under the direction of Governor Quinn, IHDA has made veteran housing a priority by tailoring the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program to give preference to proposed developments that serve veterans, provide supportive services, and have a commitment for rental assistance.

“Our newly approved veteran developments demonstrate our commitment to creating housing that provides stability and support for our veterans to successfully transition back into civilian life,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “These new options aim to create a comprehensive housing solution to meet all veteran needs, from affordable housing to job training and education assistance.”

The three developments awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are:

65th Infantry Regiment Veterans Housing: 48 units of supportive rental housing for veterans and their families located near the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago’s West Town community.

Melrose Park Veterans’ Village: 35 units of rental housing for veterans and their families located on unused lots around Westlake Community Hospital in Melrose Park.

Hope Manor Joliet (Phase III): 67 units of supportive rental housing for homeless or at-risk veterans and their families located within walking distance of the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “Veterans Clinic” in Joliet.

The following two rental developments for veterans are expected to open in 2015:

Freedom’s Path: 72 units of supportive housing for veterans with disabilities located on underutilized land at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Campus in Hines.

Danville Veterans: 65 units of supportive housing for veterans and their families located on land adjacent to the VA Medical Center and Danville Area Community College in Danville.

An estimated 1,260 veterans experienced homelessness on any given night in Illinois in 2013. Further, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that six to eight percent of all homeless veterans are women and as many as 175 female veterans – most with children – are homeless in Chicago each night. This makes developments suited for veteran’s needs, like the ones announced by Governor Quinn and IHDA, critical.

Governor Quinn’s administration has worked hard over the past five years to provide more housing opportunities for our servicemen and women. In 2009, Governor Quinn became the first Governor in Illinois history to dedicate state capital dollars to supportive housing for veterans. Since that time, the state has created 860 units of affordable housing for veterans across Illinois and today’s announcement increases that number to over 1,000 units.

In 2011, when our soldiers began returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Governor Quinn launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to help these brave men and women resettle with their families and become homeowners. To date, more than 1,600 veterans and active military men and women have become homeowners through this program.

Governor Quinn was one of the first Governors in the U.S. to take the Obama Administration’s pledge to end veteran’s homelessness by 2015 and today’s announcement will help Illinois achieve that goal.