Beacon Communities, Soldier On, Local & State Government Officials Celebrate Long-Awaited, Much-Needed Veterans Housing Project in Menands
New Construction Will Provide Supportive Services, High-Quality Housing for Formerly Homeless and At-Risk of Homelessness Veterans in Albany County
MENANDS, NY (December 18, 2023) – Beacon Communities, an industry leader in affordable and mixed income property development, announced the start of construction of a $22 million development project. The development, more than five years in the making, will provide affordable one-bedroom apartments and supportive services for homeless and low-income Albany County veterans and other households.
Located at 35 Broadway, Menands, the development will feature a total of 67 units – 35 supportive units reserved for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and 32 units that will be affordable and made available to low-income members of the community. The project targets households earning up to 30, 50, and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).
The Hochul administration announced state financing for 35 Broadway in May 2023.
A range of supportive services – including mental health and addiction counseling, job training, and more – will be provided by Beacon’s nonprofit partner, Soldier On, a Western Massachusetts-based veterans service agency.
Soldier On manages four veterans housing projects in the Berkshires and provides VA-funded services to more than 4,000 veterans in New York. The organization received $175,000 in annual funding from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) to provide services at 35 Broadway.
“We are thrilled to see this important project come to fruition and we thank state and local officials, as well as our nonprofit partner, Soldier On, for their commitment and persistence in getting it over the finish line,” said Dara Kovel, Beacon’s Chief Executive Officer. “Supportive housing is a proven tool for ending chronic homelessness. After serving their country, veterans, who are at an increased risk of becoming homeless, deserve the stable and high-quality housing 35 Broadway will provide.”
“It is particularly gratifying to have reached this moment as so many individuals are facing significant challenges and need help,” said Bruce Buckley, Chief Executive Officer, Soldier On. “We are looking forward to expanding our service area in New York and having the opportunity to support more individuals so they can once again be fully franchised members of the community they so bravely served.”
The 35 Broadway project has strong and widespread backing from officials in Albany County, the Village of Menands and the Town of Colonie, and has received all necessary approvals at the local level. This development is moving forward at a time when New York is facing multiple crises in affordability, homelessness, addiction, and mental health – and veterans are a particularly vulnerable population in need of assistance and support.
Housing affordability is one of the biggest challenges faced by New York veterans. Though the state has made great strides in combatting veteran homelessness, witnessing the nation’s largest percentage decline between 2010 and 2022, veterans are still up to 50 percent more likely to become homeless than Americans who haven’t served in the Armed Forces.
Only about 6 percent of the general U.S. population have served in the Armed Forces, nearly 11 percent of homeless adults are veterans, and more than half of them – 56 percent – are Black or Hispanic. In 2022, there were 990 veterans experiencing homelessness in New York alone.
“Reaching this important milestone on 35 Broadway proves that good things take time, but when we work collectively and refuse to give up, we can make a difference,” said Menands Mayor Brian Marsh. “The Beacon/Soldier On project is completely appropriate for Menands, which is making affordable housing a priority in keeping with Governor Hochul’s timely efforts both locally and statewide. It is also the least we can do for our veterans to thank them for the service they have provided to this country.”
“Our veterans have proudly served our nation and made tremendous sacrifices, and they deserve to know that there is a safety net waiting for them when they return home. This new affordable housing project led by Beacon Communities and Soldier On will have a real impact on our community, and I’m excited to see it continue to move forward,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Not only will our former military personnel find quality homes and wrap-around services here in Menands, but they will also find hope as they seek employment and get their lives back on track.”
“High-quality housing coupled with supportive services has proven – time and again – to be the most effective tool available to combatting chronic homelessness,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. “When it comes to veterans, who are at an increased risk of substance use, homelessness, and mental illness, it’s even more important that projects like 35 Broadway are available. I applaud the efforts of everyone who worked so hard to make this day a reality.”
“This is all about collaboration- between government, nonprofit service providers, and a private firm that’s a great civic partner,” said state Sen. Ashby, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs. “This project is tackling some of the biggest problems facing our state, including affordability, housing, and access to mental health care. These are all issues that are even more acute for veterans. I’m proud to support this investment, and I’m grateful for Beacon Communities and Soldier On.”
“This project couldn’t be coming to fruition at a better time, as the state continues to face a significant affordability, homelessness, and housing crises,” said Assemblyman Phillip G. Steck. “I’m proud to have supported Beacon and Soldier On throughout the process of getting to this moment and look forward to joining them to celebrate the opening of this much-needed new supportive housing building in Menands.”
For more information contact Liz Benjamin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-424-0356.
About Beacon Communities LLC
Beacon Communities LLC is a privately owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multi-family housing. Their portfolio includes affordable housing, market rate housing and mixed income-housing. Their developments range from new construction to historic adaptive reuse, to the renovation of existing housing. They take on challenging developments and make them succeed. Their driving passion is to create well-designed homes that improve the quality of life of their residents and enhance the neighborhoods in which they are located. For more information about Beacon Communities LLC please visit www.beaconcommunitiesllc.com.Back to All News