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Dublin VA enhances housing for vets

This is one of the existing buildings that will have a major renovation
This is one of the existing buildings that will have a major renovation(Dublin VA)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 12:07 PM EST
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DUBLIN, Ga. (WALB) - The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center (VAMC) announced that Freedom’s Path at Dublin has been awarded a 10-year, $625,000 per year housing tax credit by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Two existing buildings on the main campus will be renovated to include 22 studio, 22 one-bedroom, plus an additional new construction for six two-bedroom apartments to serve homeless, near homeless and disabled veterans and their families.

Freedom’s Path at Dublin, an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is located on Carl Vinson VAMC’s campus and will increase the supply of affordable housing for our military Veterans. This veteran-centric, permanent-supportive housing community will bring jobs and nearly $10 million of economic investment to the City of Dublin and Laurens County, according to VAMC officials.

“Freedom’s Path at Dublin is consistent with the mission of our healing campus. As veterans come to our medical center for residential rehabilitation programs, we will have options for low-cost, permanent housing solutions so Veterans can continue to get their care on our campus. We could not have been successful without numerous organizations and the entire Freedom’s Path at Dublin development team,” said David Whitmer, medical center director. “We are excited to repurpose two historical buildings on our campus to provide a supportive environment and help alleviate Veteran homelessness.”

Building 34 will be renovated
Building 34 will be renovated(Dublin VA)

The project was jointly developed by Veterans Affairs, Solutions for Veterans, Garrison for Veterans, and the Dublin Housing Authority. The project enjoyed significant support from the staff from Dublin VAMC, Mayor Phil Best and the City of Dublin, Dublin Housing Authority, State Senator Larry Walker, State Rep. Matt Hatchett, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the Georgia Historic Preservation Division, and the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Asset Enterprise Management (OAEM), according to VAMC officials.

“I am very excited to see this much-needed project come to our local VA Hospital,” Phil Best, Dublin mayor, said. “The city has and will support our VA 100 percent and assist in any way we can to make it a success.”

Freedom’s Path at Dublin includes two components, the first of which is the adaptive re-use and historic renovation of two existing buildings to generate 44 (22 studio and 22 one-bedroom) units with a leasing preference being provided to veterans who are homeless, near homeless, or disabled and who meet the income guidelines of the program. The second component is a new construction building containing an additional 6 (two-bedroom) units. The two-bedroom units are being developed to serve small households, which may include female veterans or two-parent households with a child. With more women in the military, this has become an emerging issue in terms of housing Veterans with income or disability issues.

Craig Taylor, president of Solutions for Veterans said there are still more than 600 homeless Veterans in Georgia.

“We thank the leadership at the Carl Vinson VAMC, the City of Dublin, and Georgia DCA for its support of this effort,” he said. “To solve Veteran homelessness, we need the full support of the public and private sectors. This is a great example of what can be done to serve those who served us so well.”

Garrison for Veterans, based in Atlanta, is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business specializing in real estate development for active and reserve military, Veterans, and affiliated civilians such as military families and federal government employees.

Solutions For Veterans, an Atlanta based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, serves as the lead service provider for Freedom’s Path communities and augments the comprehensive array of medical and psychiatric services for Veterans provided by the VA Medical Centers where Freedom’s Path developments are located.

The Dublin Housing Authority has been serving the needs of the low-income population in Dublin since 1949. DHA is a provider of affordable income housing in the Cities of Dublin and East Dublin and owns 540 apartment units consisting of efficiency to five-bedroom units.

Communities for Veterans has developed eight similar Freedom’s Path communities across the U.S. providing supportive housing for 423 formerly homeless, senior, and disabled veterans.

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