HAVERHILL — Vietnam War veteran Richard Yarde listened intently to Gov. Deval Patrick as he announced millions of dollars in funding to create affordable housing for veterans in communities across the state and in Haverhill.
Yarde’s thoughts soon turned to a time 15 years ago when he was in need of an apartment he could afford and was referred to Veterans Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill. He also thought about the many veterans he’s met in recent times who’ve told him they need the same kind of helpful hand in finding safe and affordable housing as he did so many years ago.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Yarde said about Patrick’s announcement yesterday at Veterans Northeast Outreach Center on Reed Street.
“This will give veterans what they deserve for their service to their country,” Yarde said. “For many, it will be a start as a lot of returning veterans come home and live with family as a lot of them can’t afford the cost of market-rate housing. And in addition to housing, they’ll have opportunities for job training, retraining and other services that Veterans Northeast can provide.”
Yarde, house manager for the Veterans Mansion on Cedar Street, a program of VNOC, said the 27 new units planned for the Mount Washington neighborhood should fill up as quickly as they are built.
“Most housing is not affordable for a lot of veterans and trying to find a job that will support them in the current economy is almost impossible,” Yarde said.
Patrick was in Haverhill yesterday to announce more than $25 million in funding to create over 335 new units of supportive housing for veterans, homeless and very low income households across the state. He said the funding is part of an aggressive plan by his administration to end chronic homelessness of veterans.