Soldiers Home project gets $1.4 million in low income housing tax credits

WHEDA awards $13.6 million to 26 projects statewide

The Old Main building at the VA Medical Center is one of 61 projects in Milwaukee since 2014 to utilize state historic tax credits for redevelopment.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:57 pm

The Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home project at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee was one of 26 projects Tuesday to be awarded low-income housing tax credits to fund affordable housing developments across the state.

Old Main building

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announced the award of more than $13.6 million at the future site of the National Soldiers Home Residences.

The project is receiving about $1.4 million in tax credits to renovate the “Old Main” building into 72-one bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartment units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“These critical tax credits are instrumental in building strong neighborhoods through the effective combination of affordable housing and economic development,” Kleefisch said.

The tax credits, which are distributed by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), will move forward 26 developments that will create 1,367 units of affordable rental housing.

“I’m gratified at the ongoing devotion and commitment of Wisconsin’s development community to provide safe, quality housing options,” said WHEDA executive director Wyman Winston. “The tax credit program is one of the state’s most successful and effective public-private partnerships. The Soldiers Home project truly symbolizes the standard of excellence we see in all the awardees today.”

In August, Madison-based developer The Alexander Company was selected to restore six buildings to their original purpose of serving veterans at the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home on the grounds of the VA Medical Center.

“The Alexander Company is proud to have been chosen to rehabilitate these historic buildings, which are such a significant piece of the social fabric of Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin, and the nation,” said Joe Alexander, president of the Alexander Group. “With the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, our public-private partnership will be able to restore these buildings to their original purpose – the service of our nation’s veterans.”

In addition to the renovation of “Old Main,” the “Headquarters” Building will be converted into single room occupancy units, which will provide housing for 14 homeless or at-risk veterans.

Renovation of “Old Main” is expected to be complete by March 2019. The conversion of the “Headquarters” Building is expected to be complete by April 2019.

WHEDA awarded more than $3.3 million to five Milwaukee developments:

  • National Soldiers Home Residences, $1.4 million
  • Westlawn Renaissance III LLC, $1 million
  • Mill Road Library Redevelopment, $805,063
  • Century Building, a prior awardee that received an additional credit of $43,793
  • 704 Place Apartments, a prior awardee that received an additional credit of $76,078

WHEDA received 43 applications this year representing $25.48 million in requests, demonstrating the highly competitive nature of the federal tax credits.

Tax credits are awarded over a ten-year-period through the federal housing tax credit program. The 2017 awarded tax credits are worth more than over $136 million over their 10-year lifespan.

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