Leases signed for new veterans' housing project

An artist's rendering shows one of three historic buildings on the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center's uptown campus that will be renovated for housing for homeless and at-risk veterans.



Plans are at last a go to renovate three historic buildings on the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center’s uptown campus off Wrightsboro Road to serve as housing for homeless and at-risk veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA finalized lease agreements Friday with Free­dom’s Path LLC and Augusta Veterans Residences Limited Partnership, a foreign corporation, to renovate and operate buildings 7, 18 and 76, with construction to begin immediately, according to a statement.

Neighbors initially objected to the latest Augusta effort to create housing for at-risk veterans six years ago, and later Freedom’s Path sued the state for withholding project funding, later receiving it in late 2014.

The 98-unit complex will provide permanent, affordable housing plus support services for at-risk veterans and their families in the Augusta community, according to the

A 2013 federal count claimed 85 homeless veterans were in Augusta. Estimated at $10.5 million in 2014, the project will be financed with more than $9 million in federal and state tax credits and other support from the VA, Augusta Housing Authority and other sources, according to previous reports.

The buildings include a psychiatric hospital built in 1945 and a former Catholic school chapel and convent built in 1912.

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