D.C. plans additional housing to end veteran homelessness by 2015

Next Monday, Mayor Vincent Gray will break ground on another housing project to end veteran homelessness in D.C. by 2015.

Approximately 532 of an estimated 1,625 veterans were placed in permanent housing between August, 2013 and August, 2014 through the Veterans NOW initiative, a collaboration between service providers, community leaders, and local and federal government. This means that D.C. is about one-third of the way towards eradicating veteran homelessness.

Gray, along with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, will commence the construction of a 124-unit, mixed income building in NoMa next week. The 14-story project will delegate 60 units to permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans with an additional 47 units of affordable housing for tenants at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income ($45,120 for an individual in 2013) and 17 for tenants at or below 30 percent the AMI.

The North Capitol Commons, as the project is called, is designed to house management offices, a lounge, fitness center, conference space, and ground floor retail. It will also provide a healthy environment equipped with support services for the physical and psychological disabilities of its veteran residents.

According to the 2014 Homeless Point-in-Time Count released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 406 veterans experienced homelessness in the nation’s capital on a single night this past January. Although this demonstrates a 22 percent decrease since 2010, there is hope that these new housing units will further drive down these numbers.

D.C. will also be one of 67 communities selected to take part in Community Solutions’ Zero: 2016 campaign to end veteran and chronic homelessness over the next two years. The group combined represents a public commitment of 234 housing authorities, local governments, community agencies, and non-profit organizations.

The North Capitol Commons project in NoMA is set for completion by December, 2015. If this is achieved, D.C. will help meet President Barack Obama‘s challenge to the nation to end veteran homelessness by the end of the following year.

On this Veterans Day, Vox encourages you to reach out and thank the veterans, homeless and non-homeless alike, who have honorably fought for and served our country.

Video: Youtube

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