This month, 62 new apartments will open for veterans at risk of being homeless at Valley Brook Village, a supportive housing community in Lyons, N.J.
It’s the latest community for homeless vets opening through the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH). The development team of Peabody Properties, Windover Construction, and The Architectural Team is also developing three other communities through the VASH program in Massachusetts. The vets will receive health and counseling services through nonprofit Affordable Housing & Services Collaborative.
Lyons is a wealthy unincorporated suburb in Bernards Township, where the median household income is well over $120,000 a year. Local support includes the Somerset Hills YMCA, which hosted its 12th Annual Flag Day 5K Run to help raise money for Community Hope’s Hope for Veterans® Transitional Housing Program and Valley Brook Village, according to local news coverage.
The 16-acre community is built on land donated by the Lyons Campus of the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System. It’s designed to win a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. MetLife provided $8.4 million in equity capital to the $15.49 million development through the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and its affiliate, the National Equity Fund. Valley Brook Village is also the subject of a short documentary film being created by North Carolina-based Susie Films.
More than 43,000 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes thanks to the VASH program—and that number is still growing. The program has provided 58,140 vouchers since 2008. HUD plans to announce more VASH funding this year from $75 million appropriated to support the housing needs of homeless vets.