FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2009
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FINAL CONGRESSIONAL PASSAGE FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION FOR HOMES FOR HEROES VETERAN HOUSING IN ROCKLAND COUNTY
Rockland Housing Action Coalition Will Build Affordable Housing for Veterans at Camp Shanks With Funding
In November 2008, Schumer Toured Camp Shanks with Legislator John Murphy and Local Officials, Pledging to Secure Funding for Much Needed Project
Funding Is Part Of House And Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Passed By House Last Week And Senate Over The Weekend
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that both houses of Congress have passed the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill which includes $974,000 to the Rockland Housing Action Coalition for the purpose of building and operating permanent, supportive housing for disabled veterans and their families at Camp Shanks. In November 2008, Schumer pledged to help obtain federal support for historic Camp Shanks and provide affordable housing options for veterans in the region. During the appropriations process, Schumer requested that the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee include funding for this project in the final appropriations bill, and fought hard to ensure that it was included. The funding was included in the bill, which passed as part of the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill passed the House last week and the Senate over the weekend and now awaits the President’s signature.
“This funding will help give the brave men and women who fought to protect our county access to affordable housing, and is now a done deal” Schumer said. “The great service that our veterans have given this nation should be returned with the chance for them have a house of their own.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leased thirteen acres of surplus U.S. Army Reserve property (known as Camp Shanks) to the Rockland Housing Action Coalition (RHAC) for the purpose of building and operating permanent, supportive housing for disabled veterans and their families, who are unable to either purchase homes or find suitably-equipped rental units at market prices. Last year, Schumer toured Camp Shanks and promised to secure funding to house disabled veterans and their families. The Rockland Housing Action Coalition currently holds a five year, renewable lease to build rental housing for homeless veterans. Camp Shanks was the largest World War II army embarkation camp in the United States. Over 1.3 million soldiers went through the camp, also known as “Last Stop USA,” for processing before being deployed to Europe.
The initial project will construct 25 rental units on six of the thirteen acres and will include the rehabilitation of one or two buildings presently standing on the property. It is estimated that ten to fifteen labor trade organizations will be onsite during the 12-month period of construction, providing economic stimulus to the community.
The project will ultimately consist of 50 handicapped accessible, garden-style apartments, a community center and offices for agencies that will provide support services to the resident veterans. The tenants will meet the spirit and criteria of the law that was implemented in the Federal Government’s decision authorizing the land-lease agreement.
The appropriation was originally included in the Senate FY2010 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. Last week that bill was combined with 5 other appropriations bill into the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The omnibus bill passed the House last week and the Senate over the weekend.