LINC Housing’s new community in Beaumont, Calif., is prioritizing affordable housing with supportive services for veterans, many of whom had been formerly homeless.
The nonprofit developer’s 38-unit Liberty Village is a vital resource for Riverside County, which has been committed to ending veterans homelessness over the past five years. In 2013, the county launched an initiative to find permanent housing for every homeless veteran. This initiative led to it becoming the nation’s first large county to reach “functional zero,” a federal benchmark for making permanent housing available for homeless veterans who seek assistance.
The development provides 38 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for veterans with disabilities, chronically homeless veterans, and veteran families earning less than 60% of the area median income.
To provide for the veterans’ specific needs, LINC Housing’s resident services program, LINC Cares, has partnered with area agencies that serve this population. In addition, the 21 units reserved for veterans who have experienced homelessness receive vouchers from the County of Riverside Housing Authority through the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program as well as additional supportive services and case management through LINC Cares and the VA.
The community also is less than a mile from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 223 and in the service area of both the Loma Linda and San Bernardino VA centers.
“It’s time to make veterans a priority,” said Rebecca Clark, LINC Housing president and CEO. “LINC is proud to join our partners in bringing this village to Beaumont. We’re here to stay as we continue to provide supportive services that we know will help all the new residents build healthy, happy, productive lives.”
Residents started to move into Liberty Village this fall. Pat, a Vietnam veteran who struggled with finding a stable home after his 37-year marriage ended and a workplace accident caused him to lose a job, is just one of the many residents getting the help needed to get back on their feet. “I was really struggling on my own, so I’m grateful to everyone who helped me through the process of getting approved to move into Liberty Village,” he said. “I’m back now. I’m paying my bills, and I’ve got food in the refrigerator. I have a really good apartment. It’s such a relief.”
The community is located near major public bus lines and within walking distance to retail and services. On-site, it features community garden planters, barbecue and picnic areas, a farm-to-table nutrition program, a food pantry, an after-school program, free on-site haircuts from local barbers, and the Liberty Rack, which provides clothing for resident job interviews.
Liberty Village also touts sustainable features, such as high-performance windows and building envelope, highly efficient HVAC and water heating systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, and smart irrigation controls. In addition, recycled, locally produced, and low-VOC building materials were utilized.
Financing for the $16.4 million development was provided through California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program and the County of Riverside Neighborhood Stabilization Program as well as a construction loan from BBVA Compass and low-income housing tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds.
D33 Design and Planning and Walton Construction Services designed and constructed the building, respectively.