A $150,000 grant to build apartments for homeless veterans at the Milwaukee Soldiers Home was among $600,000 in awards approved Thursday through the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

The city every year sets aside a portion of its budget for the Housing Trust Fund, which helps fill out funding for affordable and supportive housing developments. This year, six projects will receive grants through the trust fund, including the Soldiers Home rehab. Other projects include new apartments on National Avenue in Walker’s Point, and projects to renovate single-family houses across the city.

“We are the last dollars in, but our leverage is very important because we don’t have the strings attached that other programs do,” Milwaukee Ald. Michael Murphy said of the grant awards.

Murphy is chairman of the Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board, which on Thursday approved the grant awards to projects with a combined value of more than $45 million. Milwaukee, through the history of its trust fund, has awarded $6.5 million to projects valued at $132.2 million, with 933 housing units.

That $32.4 million Soldiers Home project will restore the Old Main building on the Civil War-era veterans campus west of Miller Park. It will create 80 apartments for veterans, and their families, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Construction work on the development is expected to start in spring. A $4.25 million fundraising effort is underway to fill out the project budget. Madison-based Alexander Co. and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee are the developers.

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This article was originally published in the Milwaukee Business Journal by Sean Ryan.