Mercy Housing Lakefront announces Veterans Housing Initiative

Mercy Housing Lakefront and Mercy Portfolio Services are working closely with the leaders of the Veteran’s Administration and other partners to preserve or create 1,000 housing opportunities for veterans over the next ten years.

“As we rebuild our region following the Great Recession, it is vitally important that we address the needs of veterans,” said Cindy Holler, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront. 

According to Gallup, 13% of U.S. adults are veterans.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 62,619 veterans are homeless on any given night.

Mercy Housing Lakefront and Mercy Portfolio Services are working closely with the leaders of the Veteran’s Administration and other partners to preserve or create 1,000 housing opportunities for veterans through five major initiatives:

  • Development of new rental housing
  • Acquiring and renovating existing rental housing
  • Leasing and preserving MHL’s existing housing portfolio;
  • Foreclosure remediation; and
  • Homeownership preservation.

    Rendering of the future Danville Supportive Housing property for veterans

    Rendering of the future Danville Supportive Housing property for veterans

Development of new rental housing:  Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) is working to develop new affordable veterans housing.  In 2013, MHL will begin construction of 65 units of supportive housing for homeless and disabled veterans at the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois.

Acquiring and renovating existing buildings: Mercy Housing Lakefront is working to acquire and renovate several buildings with a goal to create or preserve affordable housing opportunities for veterans and working families.

Exterior of the Pullman Wheelworks property

Exterior of the Pullman Wheelworks property

Leasing Mercy Housing Lakefront’s existing housing:  MHL owns and manages 24 properties with 2,434 units of housing throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee regions.  We engage in extensive outreach and marketing to make these opportunities available to veterans and currently house approximately 240 veterans.

Foreclosure remediation:    Mercy Portfolio Services manages the $169 million Chicago Neighborhood Stabilization Program with a goal to acquire, rehab, and reoccupy up to 1,000 units of foreclosed housing.  While this overall initiative does not specifically target veterans, we estimate that hundreds of veterans and their families will benefit.

Homeownership preservation: Mercy Portfolio Services has launched a $100 million Mortgage Resolution Fund (MRF) to help up to 1,000 Illinois families save their homes from foreclosure.  We estimate that hundreds of veterans and their families will benefit.

Ultimately, Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Veterans Housing Initiative will help thousands of people like Leonard Moscicke.  A World War II veteran, Mr. Moscicke was living alone in a mobile home and struggling with grief following the death of his beloved wife.  Fortunately, he was able to acquire an affordable home at Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Countryside Apartments. Now, he not only calls his apartment “home”, he calls it “heaven.” Mr. Moscicke says he thrives in the community atmosphere of the building. “I never want to leave this place,” he shares.

To hear more about Mr. Moscicke’s experience, please check out the “Mercy Now” video posted on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBt9hPoW0Z8

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