Today the Cuyahoga Land Bank and Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON) broke ground at East 152nd Street in Collinwood to provide housing for veterans as part of the health center’s Healthy Communities Initiative.
Local City of Cleveland officials, including Council Members Michael D. Polensek and Jeffrey Johnson, as well as other supporters gathered to launch the Program this morning.
Located in the Collinwood neighborhood in Cleveland and directly across the street from NEON’s Collinwood Health Center, the Veterans Housing Project is designed to provide safe, affordable and desirable living spaces for veterans and their families. Residents of the property will have access to support and health services provided by NEON as well as the Veterans Medical Center in University Circle.
“Our veterans and their families deserve to live in a safe, supportive and healthy environment,” said Willie F. Austin, president and chief executive officer, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services. “This Project provides for a holistic approach to housing. More than just a place to live, we will provide our residents with easy access to support and health services to improve their lives.”
The Cuyahoga Land Bank and NEON are working together to make quality affordable housing available for homeless veterans. “It’s an important work that needs to be done, there is a growing need as each year goes by,” said Matthew Fitzsimmons, NEON Board Chair, who also mentioned getting a lot of inspiration in helping achieve the overall mission of NEON. The Cuyahoga Land Bank helped NEON acquire the property (two vacant and abandoned buildings) that NEON, through its development entity, Community Integrated Services will renovate and manage at a cost of more than $500,000. The Cuyahoga Land Bank also contributed $50,000 to the project. Once complete, the property will feature 10 housing units, including 6 two-level row houses and a four-unit apartment building. All of the homes will include green amenities, such as energy efficient furnaces and energy-saving double-pane windows and insulated doors.
“The Veterans Project will help improve our neighborhood by restoring value to once abandoned and vacant properties and by creating modern, stable and affordable housing,” said City of Cleveland Councilman Michael D. Polensek.
“The men and women who serve our country have made many sacrifices,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos. “Providing veterans with affordable housing and support through programs like this is just one way of saying thank you.”