The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) today announced that Milwaukee Soldiers Home in Milwaukee, Wis., is a 2021 recipient of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Housing for Veterans of the Armed Forces category, recognizing affordable housing developments and organizations that have demonstrated impactful use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).
Presented annually, the Edson Awards honor Housing Credit developments that strengthen communities, improve resident opportunities and support economies in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. This year, the awards coincide with Congress’ consideration of budget reconciliation legislation that would make major investments in housing infrastructure – at a time when communities nationwide face ongoing economic challenges and housing insecurity from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a shared responsibility to meet the needs of veterans who served our nation and who are experiencing homelessness,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “I am so grateful for The Milwaukee Soldiers Home and the work the Alexander Company did to bring it to life. The Milwaukee Soldiers Home provides veterans in Wisconsin with the critical assistance they deserve to acquire housing and meet their daily living needs, and I can’t think of an organization more deserving of the Housing for Veterans of the Armed Forces award.”
Milwaukee Soldiers Home, developed by The Alexander Company, includes six historic buildings in a National Historic Landmark District that have been rehabilitated and returned to their original purpose—serving veterans. The property provides 101 homes for veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk for experiencing homelessness. Milwaukee Soldiers Home is one of the first developments in the nation and the first in Wisconsin financed with a hybrid structure using 4 percent and 9 percent Housing Credits. Syndication for the property was provided by the National Equity Fund, Inc. The most iconic building – known as Old Main—was constructed in 1867 as a place of recuperation for Civil War soldiers as they transitioned back into society. All residents of the Milwaukee Soldiers Home now have access to a range of supportive services, provided on-site by the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Medical Center HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Services include care coordination, education training and employment assistance, benefits assistance, and peer-to-peer counseling.
Since 1986, the Housing Credit has financed more than three million homes for low-income households, including and formerly homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, veterans of the armed forces, and senior citizens. Through public-private partnerships, the Housing Credit offers a proven track record of financing safe, modern and well-designed affordable homes in communities where they are needed most.
“The Edson Award winners this year demonstrate the flexibility of the Housing Credit to meet the needs of households and communities from Eagle River, Alaska; to Wichita Falls, Texas; to Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” said Matt Josephs, AHTCC Board President and Senior Vice President for Policy for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. “As we continue to confront the impact of the pandemic, it is vital that tools like the Housing Credit are enhanced and strengthened, so that we can better address our national housing crisis that grows more urgent by the day.”
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