Formerly homeless DC veterans move in to supportive housing on the former site of Walter Reed Army Medical Center
(WASHINGTON, DC) – HELP USA CEO Tom Hameline, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and other project supporters cut the ribbon for the HELP USA Walter Reed Veteran Apartments. This new 100 percent affordable development provides permanent supportive housing for 77 previously homeless veterans.
“There can be no higher or better use of this historic site than to continue serving the men and women of the Armed Services.” said Tom Hameline. “Because of the vision of the District government, the generosity of our private sector partners, and the hard work of my team, we can today move seventy-seven veterans off the street and offer them what they always deserved, a place to call home.”
This project was built by HELP USA, a national housing and homelessness non-profit and developed in partnership with the District of Columbia as part of their fifteen-year redevelopment of the sixty-six acre parcel that was once home to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. HELP’s building is the first residential development to open on the campus.
“When our veterans experience a housing crisis, we’re going to be there for them with programs in that in safe, service-enriched permanent housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our vision for Walter Reed was to deliver community benefits and build a neighborhood that will benefit Washingtonians for generations to come. We built on that commitment today by supporting our most vulnerable residents and ending homelessness by opening new affordable housing for District veterans.”
The building was designed to serve the unique needs of formerly homeless veterans. It features seventy-seven studio apartments, office space for medical staff, counselors and case managers, a cafeteria, a gym, and a landscaped courtyard.
It was funded through government sources and the generosity of private donations. Grants from lead private funder, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, as well as generous contributions from The Weinberg Foundation, The Abell Foundation, The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, The Home Depot Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the National Equity Fund comprised a large portion of the funding and were instrumental in the development financing.
“The JBJ Soul Foundation is proud to once again partner with HELP USA as we welcome 77 Washington D.C. veterans to a place they can call home. We were called on to lead the private sector investment at Walter Reed and are proud to have this opportunity to say thank you to those who so bravely serve our country,” said Jon Bon Jovi.
The 77 units to be constructed will be offered at the following affordability levels: 75 permanent supportive housing units at 30 percent Median Family Income for chronically homeless veterans and two units at 50 percent median family income. The site of the project is the former Abrams Hall (Building 14), was originally constructed in 1976 as barrack housing for soldiers receiving long-term medical care who were able to live semi-independently.
“In supportive housing communities like Walter Reed, people have the chance to heal, rebuild their independence and find hope again,” said Debbie Burkart, who leads the LISC/NEF Bring Them Homes initiative, which has fueled thousands of affordable housing units with services for veterans. “We’re grateful to investors and philanthropic funders like Morgan Stanley, Cathay Bank, Citi Community Development and Northrup Grumman, all of which recognized the importance of this project early on and saw the tremendous capacity of HELP USA to make it a reality. We could not be prouder to be their partners in the critical work.”
The project was designed by Weincek Associates, built by Ellisdale Construction and Development and made possible by construction financing through TD Bank.