[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Veterans Sought for Future Habitat Housing (Video) | 10-07-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
81°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 26
1926 - Sheriff's Substation No. 6 dedicated in Newhall [story]


| Sunday, Oct 7, 2012
Loading...
Habitat for Humanity's Donna Deutchman, House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon and CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett cut the ribbon to the future Habitat for Heroes housing project on Centre Pointe Parkway.

The ribbon has been cut and the speeches made – and now, veterans can apply to get one of the 87 homes planned for the first-ever Habitat for Heroes veteran village in Santa Clarita and a smaller village of 13 homes in Sylmar.

On Monday, officials from Washington, Sacramento and City Hall gathered at an open field on Centre Pointe Parkway where the village will be built to laud the work of volunteers in coming up with the plan to build the community and support local service members.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the California Department of Veteran Affairs announced that it has set aside more than $21 million for this project, part of Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley’s efforts to help local veterans.

With the support of CalVet, in concert with Southern California Gas Company in partnership with KHTS AM 1220, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and local nonprofit agencies, the Santa Clarita village is expected to come to fruition in the near future, with groundbreaking in late spring or early summer 2013 and the first home ready in early 2014.

Click to enlarge

The village will be comprised of three- and four-bedroom homes which can be purchased using a CalVet Home Loan, a Habitat SF/SCV second loan and, in the case of an additional 13 homes being built in Sylmar, a deferred silent third loan from HCD. Veterans will be required to provide sweat equity to reduce the costs and help build these green energy-efficient, affordable homes.

War veteran Lt. Renard Thomas, who will be one of the village’s first residents, was anxious to get the program started.

“I’m really fired up and excited about this opportunity. There are over 10,000 veterans in the SCV. I also work at the College of the Canyons as a director of the veterans program where we serve over 600 veterans. And this is such a tremendous opportunity,” Thomas said. “If your objective was to serve the veterans, you guys have achieved your objective. There is no better to say thank you than to offer a veteran the opportunity to have a home.”

Secretary Peter J. Gravett, Major General (Ret.) of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, expressed his gratitude for the multi-agency cooperation and support.

“Thank you all for what you’ve done, this is a great project for the state, this community and for veterans,” Gravett said. “This is the first project of this kind; it took all of you to make this event happen today and it will take all of you to turn the first shovel of dirt, which I hope is soon, to the ribbon cutting on the first home.

“California is the most popular state in the nation,” he continued. “It stands to reason that we’d have more veterans. Of the over two million veterans in the state, this community, per capita, has more veterans than any other part of the state. We are very excited about this collaboration with Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley and Housing and Community Development because it will allow veterans in the Sylmar and Santa Clarita areas to acquire a piece of the American Dream,” he added.

CalVet Sec. Peter J. Gravett (Major General, Ret.) greets Lt. Renard Thomas, who will be the first resident of the new veterans’ village.

“These planned veteran communities will not only bring veterans together but will also offer them a neighborhood that promotes self-sufficiency. Innovative programs like this one are a great example of government, at all levels working in collaboration with the private sector, to meet a serious need,” he continued. “The Governor initiated the ICV (Interagency Council on Veterans) to identify programs like this and highlight them and if possible, replicate them throughout California.”

Representative Howard P. “Buck” McKeon stepped up to the microphone and added his thanks to those who worked to make the village project come to fruition. McKeon, who serves as the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, then asked all veterans in attendance to stand.

As the applause died down, he addressed the veterans directly.

“Thank you all very much for your service. Some of you served in Vietnam and you didn’t get this kind of treatment when you came home. I apologize for that, we all apologize for all that.”

He made note of the difference between that time and the current national support of the military.

“It’s like night and day, I see people thanking veterans when they walk by in the airport and how they are showing their appreciation, which is the way a country should react. But it’s a lot because of what happened after Vietnam and the Vietnam veterans vowed that would never happen again. Thank you for that.”

McKeon shared with the group some of the work he’s done in Washington on behalf of veterans.

“You know, you wouldn’t think this was possible, but in Washington, we have an Armed Services Committee and we have a Veterans Affairs Committee and they had never met together until about a month ago,” he explained. “The chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee also serves on the Armed Services Committee and we said this is crazy, so we had a joint hearing….to ask them why it’s taking so long to get medical records together and solve problems, because all of the soldiers, sailors, Marines that we’re concerned about on the Armed Services Committee eventually become veterans. We should be working hand in hand, and that was the first step to make sure that happens.

“TAP (Transition Assistance Program), the program that helps our military people before they leave the service to get oriented, we’ve really improved that program, we’ve stepped up the time to help orient these people before they leave by 70 percent. So we’re making some good gains there,” he said.

“Our veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan now – (are coming home to) 24 percent unemployment, 40 percent among the wounded. And this sequestration that you’ve probably heard about that I’ve been fighting for the last year, because it’s going to cut so deeply into the military. It’s going to take 200,000 Army and Marines out of uniform and instead of bringing them home to victory parades, we’re putting them on the unemployment lines. That’s crazy.”

From left: U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, CalVet Secretary Peter Gravett, KHTS Co-Owner Carl Goldman , developer Jack Shine.

McKeon also took a moment to thank Habitat For Humanity board member Jack Shine, a developer who built several neighborhoods in the early days of the city and has now turned his focus to Habitat and helping with the veteran’s village.

Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar, a veteran himself, promised the city’s support of the program.

“It is such a pleasure to be part of the City of Santa Clarita that stands so solid behind our veterans,” he said. “The city is going to roll up its sleeves and do everything to facilitate and make this project possible. Nothing happens in this city without a team effort and we see it time and time again, where we all come together and work hard and we get things done. Thank you so much, we’re just honored to be here.”

Donna Deutchman, CEO of Habitat For Humanity SF/SCV, acknowledged the government’s cooperation in this project.

“It is very rare that a government agency like the City of Santa Clarita or like the California Veterans Administration under Secretary Gravett’s leadership, we had to create new programs, we had to create new ways of doing mortgages, we had to do many, many things to make more houses available for more veterans in better ways and to do enriched programming for the veterans to get the services they need,” she said. “California’s veterans are uniquely gifted by having a leader like Secretary Gravett and have an agency that follows him and is willing to go the extra mile and not be bogged down by bureaucratic conditions that say we will not try new things, but rather we will try new things and we will find a way to do them with excellence.”

Veterans wishing to participate in this program must first apply to Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV by visiting their website (www.HabitatSCV.org). Once they are approved by Habitat SF/SCV, they will then undergo the approval process for a CalVet Home Loan.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. paris911 says:

    It’s about time the veterans were given a break. Great job by everyone involved. Kudos to all.

  2. Lamay Darnel says:

    Thank G-D Almighty,A place for our men to really come home to,My husband has an honorable discharge a life member of D.A.V. was a combat medic in Vietnam with the army Eng.can’t tell you how many time we have been denied ,renting a place as soon as the rental managers learn he is a Vietnam vet. All of a sudden the unite is rented or needs repair. It’s too late for my husband and I but at least it’s not too late for the younger ones Thank you All

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
Related Content
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Aug 26, 2016
Five-Car Pileup on Freeway Sends 1 to Hospital
A five-car crash left one man in the hospital with minor injuries and three lanes on the northbound side of State Route 14 shut down early Friday.
Friday, Aug 26, 2016
Lawmakers OK Pavley Bill Requiring Health Plans to Cover Year’s Supply of Birth Control Pills
Women in California will have more reliable and effective access to birth control under a bill approved by the Senate on Friday and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Friday, Aug 26, 2016
Pavley’s Natural Gas Storage Safety Bill Goes to Governor
Responding to lessons learned from the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, the Senate on Friday sent to Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to establish proactive safety standards for natural gas storage wells.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The public hearings provide an opportunity to learn about the proposed project alternatives through displays and a short presentation summarizing the results of the environmental analysis. Attendees will be able to provide verbal and written comments.
Public Hearing Sat. on 138 Corridor Improvement Project
In 2016, scores improved at each of the tested grade levels (3-6) and subjects (mathematics and English-language arts).
Newhall District Students Excel in State Testing
Two Arts Sampler classes put on by the ARTree are open for registration and start Tuesday.
Art Classes for Ages 5-12 Start Tuesday; Sign Up
A place where students, community members and burgeoning entrepreneurs can explore ideas, connect with other like-minded individuals, and receive assistance to move forward with business ideas — that is the purpose of the Entrepreneurship Center at College of the Canyons.
COC Entrepreneurship Center to Host 3-Day Open House
A five-car crash left one man in the hospital with minor injuries and three lanes on the northbound side of State Route 14 shut down early Friday.
Five-Car Pileup on Freeway Sends 1 to Hospital
Women in California will have more reliable and effective access to birth control under a bill approved by the Senate on Friday and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Lawmakers OK Pavley Bill Requiring Health Plans to Cover Year’s Supply of Birth Control Pills
Responding to lessons learned from the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, the Senate on Friday sent to Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to establish proactive safety standards for natural gas storage wells.
Pavley’s Natural Gas Storage Safety Bill Goes to Governor
Juan Rodriguez, male Hispanic 50 years-old, drove from Palmdale to Cudahy expecting to meet a 17 year-old girl he had met and solicited on the internet. What he met was an undercover sheriff’s detective.
Task Force is Targeting Sex Buyers, Human Traffickers
The California Department of Parks and Recreation is lifting the closure of some of its Big Sur region state parks as firefighters begin to gain control of the Soberanes Fire.
Some Big Sur State Parks Reopening After Fire
Los Angeles City had – and might still have – about 6,800 buildings that lack inspections for periods of time covering months to multiple years. John Vidovich was put in place as fire marshal to clear out the backlog. It was learned he wasn't being truthful when he said he'd done it.
Where There’s Smoke | Commentary by Betty Arenson
1926 - Sheriff's Substation No. 6 dedicated in Newhall [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the couple who are suspected of kidnapping a dead woman’s children are in custody Thursday after officers in Pueblo, Colorado arrested them. Plus, the community gives thanks to the first responders who fought at the frontline of the Sand Fire. Check out these stories and more on tonight's SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, August 25, 2016
If you’ve walked in the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall lately, you may have noticed what appears to be a fine restaurant. At first glance, that is. A closer look reveals that something is not quite right.
That’s Not a Restaurant, It’s an Art Installation
Members of the Santa Clarita Artists' Association provide "healing art" for the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center in Newhall.
Local Artists Transform Rooms, Hallways at Newhall Dixon Center
The two suspects in the alleged kidnapping of three children belonging to a woman who was found dead in a remote area of Lebec were arrested earlier today in Pueblo, Colorado.
Suspects in Lebec Murder-Kidnap Captured in Colorado
The College of the Canyons women's volleyball program hosted its 2016 Alumni Game on Saturday, with more than a dozen former players returning to the Cougar Cage for a three-set exhibition vs. the 2016 team.
Current Players Edge Alums in COC Volleyball Matchup
The Master’s University volleyball team opened its home schedule Tuesday night by taking down Life Pacific College in three sets in front of a wild crowd on Bross Court.
Lady Mustangs to 3-2 with Win Over Life Pacific
The City of Santa Clarita will host the 22nd annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo on Saturday, Sept. 17
Sept. 17: Annual River Rally, Enviro Expo
Arts Tune-Up is a free half-day mini-conference for artists and arts administrators to network and establish new connections with one another, while learning about current trends in the field.
Oct. 1: County Workshop for Artists in Santa Clarita
Local law enforcement and family members of a man who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Newhall are still searching for answers.
Fundraiser Planned for Funeral of Man Killed in Newhall Hit-and-Run
The Assembly has approved a bill by Scott Wilk and Tom Lackey that would name a portion of State Highway Route 14 as the Senator Sharon Runner Memorial Highway.
Wilk-Lackey Bill Names Section of SR14 for Sharon Runner
The suspect barricaded himself inside his residence and is wanted for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
Deputies Extract Suspect Wanted for Kidnapping, Assault
Legislation sponsored by Board of Equalization Member George Runner and fellow BOE members cleared the Legislature today when the State Assembly voted unanimously to approve AB 1559.
Runner: Legislature Votes to Extend Emergency Tax Relief
Executives with FivePoint, the parent company of Newhall Land and Farming, announced a $5,000 donation to help Santa Clarita Valley residents affected by the Sand Fire.
Newhall Land Owner FivePoint Donates $5K for Sand Fire Victims
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Richard M. Rodriguez graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Rodriguez, VHS & COC Grad, Completes USAF Basic Training
Community: Canyon Country (West) Public Safety and Crime Report for the week of 08/15/16
Crime Blotter: Burglaries, Thefts in CC-West
Community: Valencia: Public Safety and Crime Report for the Week of 08/15/16
Crime Blotter: Thefts in Valencia, Carjacking Avoidance Tips
Community: Canyon Country (East) Public Safety/Crime Report for the week of 08/15/16
Crime Blotter: Thefts in Canyon Country-East
Saugus Public Safety and Crime Report for the week of 08/15/16 Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Crime Prevention Unit
Crime Blotter: Burglaries, Thefts in Saugus
Castaic/ Val Verde Public Safety/Crime Report for the week of August 14, 2016
Crime Blotter: Thefts in Castaic Area
A representative of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said: “The goal of the county is to get the approval of the CUP” (conditional use permit). There it was. The goal of the county is to get the expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill approved.
Freudian Slip?
At first she thought it was a hummingbird. But at night, and so late? No, it wasn’t that at all. All of a sudden, this flying monster came closer at the speed of light, directly toward the light over Mari’s head.
What the Heck?
1916 - Woodrow Wilson signs act creating National Park Service; its first director is Stephen T. Mather, who made his fortune with the Santa Clarita Valley's borax mine and envisioned & put his own money into forming the Park Service [story]
Simpatico Systems LLC of Lubbock, Texas, announced the acquisition of Valencia-based AdageIT effective Aug. 1.
Texas IT-Security Firm Aquires Valencia-based AdageIT
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the three children who allegedly abducted after their mother was found dead in Lebec have been found. Click the link to see those stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Former LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca faces a December trial on charges that he obstructed an investigation into civil rights abuses after a federal judge said Wednesday that delaying the trial is not in the public's interest.
December Trial Date Set for Ex-Sheriff Baca