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Omaha company seeks to turn dorm into housing for veterans

January 11, 2019 - 10:42 am

An Omaha real estate company has proposed a plan to turn a vacant former college dormitory into apartments for homeless veterans, as another local veterans housing facility has reached capacity.

Burlington Capital Real Estate is seeking $347,000 in tax-increment financing to help fund the $8.2 million Victory Apartments II project, The Omaha World-Herald reported. The City Planning Board on Wednesday unanimously voted to recommend that the City Council approve the request.

The project would occupy a building formerly used for storage and office space by Grace University, which closed in May. Burlington Capital plans to gut the building to create 60 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

The new apartment complex would be located next to Victory Apartments 1, which has 90 apartments for veterans. Veterans also receive services such as addiction counseling, medical care, and job training.

More apartments are needed because the first building is full and has a waitlist of 140 people, said George Achola, vice president of Burlington Capital. Burlington also has a veterans housing project in Lincoln.

Residents come from places like homeless shelters and transitional housing, Achola said. To qualify, veterans must have low incomes and can’t be registered sex offenders.

Many residents who live at the company’s veterans housing projects served in the Vietnam War and are in the 60s and 70s, Achola said.

“But we’re starting to see more recent, Iraq and Afghanistan-era vets, cycle through,” he said.

The housing is part of a hybrid program supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and local housing authorities.

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