Monday, June 29, 2015

Housing for veterans proposed near VA Hospital

A housing developer is looking to buy land near the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Affairs Hospital from the Mehlville School District and partner with a nonprofit to build a 48-unit apartment complex to house low-income veterans and their families.

In partnership with the Missouri National Guard Foundation, representatives from North Star Housing LLC and Gardner Capital want to lease or buy land from the school district to open "The Commons at Jefferson Barracks." As proposed, the facility at Interstate 255 and Koch Road, directly across from the Veterans Affairs, or VA, Hospital, would be built with the help of state low-income housing grants for veterans' housing.

The building would also house a staff member from the Salvation Army to deliver needed services to the residents. The target population would be disabled National Guard veterans who have come home from multiple tours overseas and use the services at the VA Hospital across the street. As proposed, half of the units would be set aside for special-needs veterans.

Despite the millions of dollars in budget shortfalls the district faces, however, when the Board of Education discussed the apartment proposal Thursday night, some board members were not convinced the plan — or selling the property without shopping around for the highest bidder — is the best thing for Mehlville. District officials did not seek to sell the land, but were approached after North Star identified the property as its ideal location for the apartment building.

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