EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 26, 2014

Gov. announces $25M in housing for veterans, others

(Continued)

The governor also announced that with these units, his administration has reached its goal of creating 1,000 units of permanent, supportive housing in Massachusetts a year early. Patrick made the announcement at the Reed Street campus of Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, which will receive funding assistance in creating 27 new units of housing for veterans.

“Government’s role is to help people help themselves, and I am extremely pleased that we have reached out ambitious housing goal early, ensuring that more of our families have the resources to get back on the feet,” Patrick said to a crowd of people that included other state officials along with city officials and members of Veterans Northeast Outreach. “Helping our most vulnerable families transition into stable housing is vital to supporting our economy and creating a stronger Commonwealth for the next generation.”

The local organization that provides a range of services to veterans and their families plans to begin construction this summer of 27 additional units of affordable rental housing in the Mount Washington neighborhood, where it is based.

John Ratka, executive director of Veterans Northeast Outreach, said that nationally, there is no larger single demographic that has a greater need for affordable housing than veterans and their families.

He said his organization works with veterans in their early 20s to those in their 80s who have a need for affordable housing as some are low-income and some are living on disability compensation.

Mayor James Fiorentini addressed the crowd as well saying this new housing project is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the Mount Washington neighborhood.

Fiorentini told The Eagle-Tribune that police have instituted additional patrols in the area to combat crime, while other quality of life initiatives include the revitalization of Swasey Field, which has a new water park that is expected to open this summer with more improvements planned.

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