A rendering of the second phase of Valley Brook Village — Courtesy: Peabody Properties Inc.
By Joshua Burd
TD Bank has announced a commitment to finance the expansion of a Somerset County housing community for veterans, where developers are set to nearly double the number of affordable apartments.
The bank said it was providing a $6 million construction loan to the Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative Inc. and Peabody Properties Inc. The funds will aid the expansion of the existing 62-unit Valley Brook Village in Bernards Township, which the bank said is a first-of-its-kind supportive housing development for homeless veterans.
The second phase calls for a new three-story building with 50 one-bedroom units, which will be situated around a common green to complement the existing village-style community. Windover Construction Inc. is overseeing the development of the permanent housing for homeless and at-risk veterans of all ages and branches of the military.
“At TD Bank, we celebrate the dedication of all military personnel for their commitment to our country,” said Thomas McColgan, vice president at TD Bank. “We are focused on projects and resource groups geared towards our veterans, so that they can be part of a supportive community that will enable them to attain their goals and continue to live meaningful lives after military service.”
Valley Brook Village offers on-site support services for homeless and disabled veterans. TD Bank also touted its proximity to nearby health care services and public transportation, along with a shuttle service, landscaped walkways, shared outdoor spaces and a state-of-the art learning center.
Construction has started and is expected to be complete by next September.
“TD Bank has been instrumental in supporting our effort to provide affordable housing for veterans,” said Melissa Fish-Crane, principal and chief operating officer of Peabody properties. “This project will build on the success of Phase I, helping to not only expand the close-knit Valley Brook community, but also create a supportive environment with comprehensive services so veterans are empowered to overcome the many challenges they face after returning home from service.”
Valley Brook Village is built on land provided through the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs’ Enhanced-Use Lease Program and is part of the agency’s New Jersey Health Care System campus in Bernards. The township, Somerset County, the V.A. and several private foundations, including The Home Depot Foundation, are also providing funding.
“This development has been crucial for the veterans who reside here; a place to call home for those who have served our country,” said Michael Armstrong, CEO of Community Hope Inc. “The expansion of Valley Brook Village will enable us to continue growing this special community, so that more Veterans can benefit from the services and camaraderie that we’re able to provide.”
TD Bank said the project is part of its initiative known as The Ready Commitment, a multiyear program designed to open doors for inclusion through community giving in financial security, a vibrant planet, connected communities and better health.