Help us build homes for heroes.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) November 11, 2011
In Latin, Veritas means truth. In English, it means residential communities that meet the life care needs, physical and emotional, of U.S. military veterans by offering a unique package of location, price, services, amenities and, especially, honesty. Our mission is to envelop all veterans, regardless of age or demographics, whether single or with families, whether honorably discharged or not, in a secure cocoon of compassion and care that provides a sanctuary from the outside world.
Veritas Villages of America, Inc., a newly formed real estate development and property management group headquartered in Philadelphia, has announced that its first residential community for veterans and their families is being developed in Smithtown, Long Island near the Northport VA Medical Center.
The Company is acquiring approximately 80 acres of undeveloped land in Smithtown, NY and is in negotiations for an additional 5 acres in Bohemia, NY for the development of a residential community and related facilities for U.S. military veterans, including retired veterans and their families as well as those coming home from overseas deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first 37-acre site in Smithtown will feature 560 affordable condos, apartments and townhouses for sale and for rent. A portion of the units may be set aside for transitional housing. Amenities will include a beautiful, 24/7 world-class clubhouse modeled after the officers’ clubs on military bases. The clubhouse will feature several restaurants, around-the-clock food service, a game room, a convenience store, and a health club with a swimming pool along with other recreational facilities. The clubhouse will also include meeting rooms and banquet facilities that will host veterans’ organizations and Las Vegas casino nights.
The development may also include a Fisher House -- a home away from home for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. The site is only a few miles from the VA Medical Center in Northport, NY and shuttle buses will take residents to and from the VA facilities.
The 5 acres in Bohemia, NY will feature a Veritas House -- an assisted living facility for 100 - 200 veterans.
There are now over 22 million veterans living in the U.S., including more than 9 million aged 65 and over 2 million younger than 35. Over the next few years, tens of thousands more service men and women are scheduled to be coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, among other worldwide deployments. All together, these millions of vets constitute a huge market for specialized residential communities. In fact, three states alone, California, Texas and Florida, are now home to almost 2 million veterans each.
America’s veterans are generally better educated and have a higher median income ($35, 402 v $25,559) compared to the general population. In the 2008 presidential election, seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans.
And today, 9% of all U.S. companies are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised an estimated 2.4 million of the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses operating in the U.S. in 2007. And 68% of these business owners were 55 or older in 2002. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of U.S. companies. These millions of soon-to-retire business owners constitute a significant market for residential retirement communities.
In addition to their sheer numbers, U.S. military veterans also offer another profitable attribute: government benefits. Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2009 was $95.6 billion. Of this total, $44.7 billion went to compensation and pensions, $43.4 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, including vocational rehabilitation and education.
Through passion and commitment, Brian Mahon, a disabled former Marine and founder of Veritas Villages of America, has assembled a skilled and experienced management team who believe not only in offering veterans outstanding housing opportunities, but also in helping veterans receive their maximum benefits.
“Too many veterans after serving their country,” Brian points out, “are faced with difficult adjustments to civilian life. Veritas Village will afford them the resources to access whatever assistance is available, and welcome them to an environment that they will feel comfortable navigating. In doing so, Veritas Village management will offer a better overall quality of life to the men and women who have served their country and, by defending our freedom, have given everyone in America the quality of life we all enjoy.”
The first Veritas Village, in Smithtown, Long Island, will be typical of the entire system. It will feature an eighty-acre residential community combining multi-family housing with single family residences. Included will be the amenities described above along with an adjacent bank, a convenience store and a pharmacy. There will also be shuttle bus transportation to and from the nearby Northport VA Medical Center. Providing jobs for veterans will be another hallmark of all Veritas Village communities. The company’s employment policy will mandate the hiring of veterans for all on-premise jobs, from shuttle bus drivers, security personnel and maintenance workers to restaurant and health club staffs.
Affordability and Profitability
A major factor in the affordability of Veritas Village residences for veterans and their profitability for Veritas Villages of America, Inc. will be the utilization of Simplex Homes in place of traditional home construction. Simplex is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of high quality, very attractive, yet inexpensive, modular housing.
Also key to the profitability of Veritas Village communities will be the company’s ability to win U.S. government grants for providing veteran housing and to qualify for the HUD-VASH housing voucher program. And whenever possible and appropriate, Veritas Villages will offer to donate property for the development of a nationally-acclaimed Fisher House where families of VA hospital patients can stay when visiting hospitalized relatives.
Veritas Wilderness Villages.
Not all returning vets adjust well to living in urban areas or even suburban communities. Some prefer living in secluded areas without nearby neighbors, even wilderness areas that take advantage of their military training and survival expertise. For these vets, we will offer Veritas Wilderness Villages, large, rugged ‘reservations’ in Wyoming or Idaho or Arizona that will afford the best of both worlds: The wilderness living experience without next-door neighbors with the security and the assurance that basic needs will be met along with access to medical care.
Wilderness Village residents will be brought by helicopter to a prepositioned fiberglass POD along with their belongings, a cell phone, food and other supplies. Additional food and supplies will be brought in to residents on a regular schedule. Residents can choose to leave at any time for any reason. Should they choose to leave, they will be brought out by helicopter and taken to a traditional Veritas Village residence. Conversely, residents of traditional Veritas Village communities can choose to vacation for a week or two at a Veritas Wilderness Village.