Six buildings at the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home, located on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee will be rehabilitated and restored to their original purpose — the service of veterans.
The Alexander Company and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee announced Thursday, August 4th that it will lead a team of local organizations in this effort.
According to a statement from The Alexander Company, the proposal calls for the buildings, including Old Main, the Administration Building, the Catholic Chaplain’s Quarters and three duplexes will be renovated — turned into 100 housing units with services for veterans and their families who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.
“The Milwaukee Soldiers Home represents our nation’s commitment to care for our veterans,” said Joseph Alexander, president of The Alexander Company in the statement. “Our team is honored to have the opportunity to work with these historic buildings and we are proud that through our work, we will be able to return them to the veterans they were built to serve.”
According to the statement, this project is being made possible through an “Enhanced Use Lease” program with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The six buildings will be leased out long-term to The Alexander Company, who will take on the cost of rehabilitation. The law authorizing EULs requires that the buildings be used to provide housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The VA selected The Alexander Company and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s proposal after a competitive “request for proposals” process earlier this year.
The development plan will be finalized in the coming months.
The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee will operate these six buildings after they have been renovated.
According to the statement, since 2005, the Housing Authority has provided housing to homeless veterans on the VA grounds at the historic Surgeon’s Quarters building, which HACM remediated and restored into an award-winning single room occupancy facility.
Supportive services will be managed by the Center for Veterans Issues (CVI), and include onsite education, job training, financial assistance, counseling and transportation services.
“The Soldiers Home is a local and national treasure,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “This partnership and project is a perfect way to preserve the history of the Soldiers Home while meeting the needs of today’s veterans.”
Planned financing for the anticipated $40 million project includes low income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, grants, fundraised dollars and additional soft financing.
Work is anticipated to begin in fall 2017, with all buildings completed by April 2019.