Homes 4 Families and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) held a public ceremony at 5623 Elmer Ave. in North Hollywood to break ground on 12 new homes for low-income veteran families.
The CalVet REN (Residential Enriched Neighborhood) program offers permanent, affordable home ownership with manageable loan payments and family enrichment services to low-income veterans and their families. This Veteran Enriched Neighborhood® is a model developed by Homes 4 Families with embedded wraparound services such as financial literacy, trauma-informed care and proven positive outcomes.
The homes themselves will be built by Homes 4 Families and funded by CalVet, the City of Los Angeles Housing Authority and corporate, foundation and individual donors, and supported by Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian, who oversees the district.
Among those who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony were Krekorian; US Congressman Tony Cardenas; Deputy Secretary of Communications for CalVet Lindsey Sin; Makenna Gordon, district representative for Sen. Caroline Menjivar; Wells Fargo Senior Community Relations VP Jack Olree; Homes 4 Families Board Chair Brad Rosenheim; Homes 4 Families President & CEO Donna Deutchman; Homes 4 Families Board Vice Chair Michael Weintraub; Anheuser-Busch Sr. General Manager Eric Gutierrez; Citibank Vice President and Community Relations Officer Rashi Kallur; Bank of America Private Bank FSA Executive Jason Gietter and LA Housing Department Financial Development Officer Stephone Neely.
Of the project and partnership, CalVet Undersecretary Russell Atterberry said, “This is what the CalVet REN program is all about — helping veterans and their families realize the great American dream of home ownership. We take great pride each time we break ground on a new REN and can’t wait to participate in the presentation of the keys to their new homes when they are completed.”
“It’s exciting to break ground on this project,” said Krekorian. “I’ve been committed to this project from its inception because it builds resilience and self-sufficiency in families we house and gives them a stake in the surrounding community.
“That’s why I committed nearly half a million in housing bond proceeds to build this on city property and to improve the surrounding streets and sidewalks. With the Metro Orange and Red Lines only half a mile away, and wraparound services available to the families, this is a model of the kind of development the city needs right now.”
“Our veterans have served to preserve our American dreams — it is our goal to ensure that, regardless of income, these veterans have a neighborhood where they can experience their own dreams, to raise their families and their economic status,” said Deutchman.
Like the three previous CalVet REN veteran communities built in Sylmar, Santa Clarita and Palmdale, the North Hollywood Veteran Enriched Neighborhood®will focus on the unique needs of veterans in the local community. In North Hollywood, units will be built as three-story townhouses, with two units being full-ADA with elevators, to take advantage of the extremely desirable location. Additional innovative accommodations for veteran disabilities will be included.
Wells Fargo presented a $100,000 check to the nonprofit to support affordable veteran housing efforts.
“Wells Fargo is proud of our continued support for Homes for Families and their Veteran Enriched Communities with wrap around services,” said Olree.