Struggling Wisconsin veterans could soon be offered a new home after local authorities approved an affordable housing project on Nov. 11.

The City of Milwaukee has granted final approval for the Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin’s Tiny Homes Initiative at 6730 N 60th Street next to the Job Corp Center, 11 miles northwest of downtown Milwaukee.

“In honor of Veterans Day tomorrow, I will sign a zoning file authorizing the development of land benefitting homeless veterans,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) said on Facebook.

The proposed seven acre community includes 40 ‘tiny’ homes, each with a floor space of about 240 square feet, small bathroom and facing a 10,000 square foot community center that offers a shared kitchen, shower room, common area, and program for residents.

“What we are talking about is a veterans homeless recovery program that will allow veterans, men and women, who have served our country, to have a home in the city of Milwaukee that they can call their own,” Barrett said at a press conference according to Fox News. “It not simply a home, it is also a support system.”

The design is based on a model created by the developer’s existing Racine Veteran Village, 24 miles south of downtown Milwaukee. The mayor was very impressed after seeing the village.

“My first words were wow, this is an amazing project because of the respect and support that it provides to men and women who have served our armed service, many of whom are homeless or faced issues where they need our help just as they have given their help,” Barrett said.

As part of the deal, the city will sell the seven acres of land to the developer at a “very reasonable price” and construction is expected to start before June 2020. The project will not rely on taxpayer funding for the construction phase and instead solicit philanthropic donations from businesses, community groups, and individuals.

“This is a privately funded program, which means generous benefactors and individuals, foundation or corporations can begin today contributing towards over $3 million that is going to be necessary to complete the construction of the first year of operation of this project,” the mayor said. “This is reliant not on government funds, this is reliant on private contributions.”

The developer welcomed the approval and confirmed representatives would meet with the mayor in the morning. Shortly after the deal was signed one veteran showed his appreciation for the housing.

“I made it through Mayor Tom Barrett signing the resolution for our next 40+ tiny home village in Milwaukee without crying. I then settled into a cozy space in the city to work on a Veterans Opportunity to Work grant application,” Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin said on Facebook. “A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, spotting the Veterans Outreach logo on my laptop, just walked up to me and gave me roses because it means so much to him that we are helping to house Wisconsin’s heroes. Tears. Yep. I’ve got tears all over the darn place right now.”

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness confirmed there were 332 veterans experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin as of January 2018, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.