Doris Miller VA announces plans for homeless veteran housing

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The Doris Miller Veterans Affairs announced plans on Wednesday for a veteran housing development on its campus.

This potential complex could help dozens of homeless veterans and their families with housing and care. 

According to the Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sandles, three acres of the campus will be used to provide about 35 units of supportive, affordable housing for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. 

The buildings at the Doris Miller VA haven’t been used in more than 30 years. Whether the buildings will be demolished or not, the land will serve a more rewarding purpose.

“You’re getting someone off the street or reducing the risk levels is really just step one. Step two then is then finding a permanent, affordable, sustainable housing for them,” Sandles says.

VA officials announced they plan to offer interested developers the opportunity to bid on the three acres of land to help house homeless veterans and their families.

“Because we’re talking about a private-public partnership,” Sandles says. 

Once purchased, the 75-year lease will require financing, design, and development of 35 units of housing with the help of the Housing and Urban Development program.

“Basically, we’re providing the land to a private developer. That private developer could come in and build the housing units, and the VA would subsidize those housing units with the HUD Voucher Program,” Sandles says.

With the staff, culture, and resources, Sandles says this is the perfect location. 

“What they identified is that the premier location for something like this was here in Waco,” Sandles says. 

Sandles has a message for those in need of this facility, “To that population, I would say this isn’t the end. This is the beginning.” 

A public hearing for the project will be held on February 13.

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