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Houses & Hope for Homeless Veterans

Tucked into a quiet neighborhood east of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, dozens of homeless veterans are about to finally feel at home.

Esperanza En Escalante, in partnership with Gorman and Company, Inc., is adding 44 brand new one-bedroom apartments to the nonprofit’s 16-acre property that already includes transitional housing and support for 75 homeless veterans and family members. Gorman is a mission-driven for profit real estate developer with significant interest and experience with low-income housing tax credits and nonprofit partnerships.

Esperanza is Gorman’s first project in Tucson; they broke ground earlier this year and the project is slated for completion mid-2017.“Because veterans are already living in current units on the Esperanza project, we included them in the design process. Several veterans, including one in a wheelchair, toured a prototype of the new units and offered feedback,” said Brian Swanton, Gorman’s Arizona Market President.

The inside of the community room at the new apartment complex for homeless veterans
The inside of the community room at the new apartment complex for homeless veterans

Continuing Partnerships

The new homes are designated for single men, single women, or couples who are veterans 55+ years of age. Forty of the 44 apartments will be Section 8, which means occupants will pay just a small percentage of any income they receive in rent. They will also enjoy a community center with a social activity room, computer lab, and case management and nursing support. Section 8 is a common term for the Housing Choice Voucher Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered here by the City of Tucson.

Esperanza was founded in 1989 by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106 of Tucson to provide housing, social services, and transportation that help veterans transition into everyday life. The nonprofit works closely with the City of Tucson, the State of Arizona, the Veteran’s Administration and many other institutions and organizations meeting the physical and social needs of our veterans.

How NPLF Helped

Esperanza’s first NPLF loan helped with cash flow. The second was a very short term loan that allowed them to partner with Gorman and Company, Inc. and take advantage of a low-income housing tax credit.

“NPLF studied the issues and was motivated to make it happen. Their funding came at a critical time,” said Brian Swanton, Gorman’s Arizona Market President.