Innovative Partnership Expands Affordable Housing to Address Veteran Homelessness

Expanding affordable housing to address homelessness in partnership with Community Solutions
Mar 30, 2021 10:05 AM ET

March 30, 2021 /3BL Media/ - For nearly a decade, The Home Depot Foundation has partnered with Community Solutions, an organization committed to ending homelessness through data-driven, innovative methods, to help solve veteran homelessness in communities across the nation. Recently, Community Solutions announced the purchase of a new 132-unit apartment building to provide affordable housing for veterans experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.  

Located just a few miles from the Fort McPherson VA (Veterans Affairs) Clinic, Centra Villa provides its tenants easy access to medical services and other community resources, in addition to long-term, permanent housing.   

Atlanta is part of Built for Zero, an initiative of Community Solutions supported in part by The Home Depot Foundation, which includes more than 80 cities and counties working to measurably end homelessness. Atlanta joined Built for Zero in 2018 and implemented this data-driven approach to end veteran homelessness in 2020. 

Centra Villa will increase the number of units available to house veterans and will be connected to the local housing system to help ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and nonrecurring for veterans across the metro region. The Home Depot Foundation was one of several Atlanta-based organizations that provided critical funding to support this project.  

Shannon Gerber, executive director, The Home Depot Foundation, said: “For more than a decade, The Home Depot Foundation has been dedicated to supporting U.S. military veterans. Homelessness and lack of affordable housing are some of the most urgent issues affecting too many of our nation’s heroes, and we’re proud to support the Built for Zero initiative to help end homelessness here in our hometown of Atlanta, as well as in cities across the nation. Through our continued work with Community Solutions, we can help ensure every veteran has access to a safe, affordable and reliable place to call home.”  

Traditional methods of creating affordable units often take too long to close the housing gap, or fail to support population-level reductions in homelessness. Atlanta was the latest community to partner with Community Solutions to leverage a model that has addressed these challenges, along with Denver and Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Assistant Director of Real Estate Allyson Randolph for Community Solutions said: “Centra Villa provides an example of how communities can leverage social impact investments to quickly acquire and target existing units for people experiencing homelessness. This project will serve as a model to urgently expand affordable housing in other communities across the country, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to destabilize the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities.”  

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