Buffalo Valley, Inc. cut the ribbon on four new rental homes today in Chattanooga that will be used to provide housing and support services for local homeless veterans.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke joined representatives from Buffalo Valley, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati at Friday morning's ceremony to commemorate the opening of the new residences.
"Helping veterans is not something that is unusual for us, we're the Volunteer State," Mayor Berke said. "This is part of our DNA, to think about the people who have served us and try to help them in the most ways possible."
The four homes were built with a portion of a $500,000 THDA Housing Trust Fund grant Buffalo Valley was awarded in 2016 and are part a development called Patriot's Place at Veteran's Way. Matching funds were provided by FHLB Cincinnati and the City of Chattanooga.
Each of the residences features four bedrooms, two bathrooms and just over 1,300 sq. ft. of living space.
THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said the project aligned closely with one of the Housing Trust Fund's goals, which is to provide safe, affordable housing for those who have served their country.
"We feel it's important to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for those who sacrificed for our freedoms," Mr. Perrey said. "Projects like Patriot's Place at Veteran's Way do this by giving our homeless veterans stability they need and the support they deserve, and this is something our Housing Trust Fund seeks to promote throughout Tennessee."
Buffalo Valley officials said the rental homes will be targeted towards veterans who are homeless or considered to be very low income. In addition to having a place to live, residents at Patriot's Place will also receive support services from community partners. .
"Buffalo Valley is grateful to have the opportunity to provide these safe and affordable homes to those in need,” Buffalo Valley President Debbie Hillin said. “Every time we open these projects it reminds us that we need to give to those who gave their time so we can gave the freedom we have today."
Buffalo Valley describes Patriot's Place as a drug-free, permanent housing program where "veterans are helping veterans." The program is designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible. It is open to both male and female veterans.
Buffalo Valley offers veterans a variety of resources through the Patriot’s Place program, including case management, relapse prevention, vocational training, job readiness, and transportation, in addition to housing. “Veterans have earned the right to safe affordable housing and we are glad to provide it,” Buffalo Valley Executive Director Jerry T. Risner said.
To learn more about the Patriot’s Place program, visit the Buffalo Valley website, call 800-447-2766.