National Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Honorable Mention in Development that Best Exemplifies Major Community Impact
Victory Gardens is a 74-unit mixed-income supportive and affordable rental housing development on the campus of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Newington, Connecticut. Envisioned for and designed specifically with Veterans in mind, preference is given to eligible Veterans and their families, including homeless Veterans and those at-risk of becoming homeless. A comprehensive supportive services plan has been incorporated to support our Veterans’ needs beyond affordable housing, and includes a variety of programs and services provided by the Chrysalis Center and VA-CT.
Through its Enhanced-Use Lease Program (EUL), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) leased 11.232-acres of land and improvements on its VA Newington, Connecticut campus.Completed in November of 2013, Victory Gardens is one of the nation’s first housing developments established under the EUL program, which allows VA to rent or lease VA property for non-VA use in return for either rent or “in-kind” consideration for activities that enhance VA’s mission. Eliminating homelessness among the Veteran population is a high priority for VA. The co-location of the EUL project on the VA Newington campus ensures that Veterans have ready access to care and treatment designed to help them attain long-term independence and self-sufficiency. The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development designed and developed the project with Demarco Management providing the on site property management and Chrysalis Center providing comprehensive on-site services for the tenants.
Victory Gardens consists of 40 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units spread throughout seven town home buildings and one multi unit apartment building. All apartments are geared to households earning at or below 60% of area median income (AMI), and provides for much deeper affordability than other multi-family developments in the area, including homes that are targeted for families below 50% AMI and 25% AMI.
The Victory Gardens development has been created to respond to the dual issues faced by Veterans in our community: (1) the lack of affordable housing in our region, and (2) the need for supportive services to enhance options for long-term economic stability. A sizeable core of our Veteran population in Connecticut falls within income levels that severely limit their housing choices. Victory Gardens is well-positioned to serve as a comprehensive solution for the myriad of housing and other issues our Veterans often face when returning home from service.
Victory Gardens was designed with energy efficiency in mind and is in the process of becoming LEED Silver certified and includes features such as rain gardens, efficient HVAC systems, and thermostats.
Check out information from the Grand Opening here.