ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015 - (Page 55)
>>> REAL ESTATE LENDING
Banks stride in unison with agencies, nonprofits to serve veterans.
BY KERRY O'LEARY
merica's returning service
members encompass every age,
background and path of duty on
the roster. But one trait too many
of them share is a struggle to
find the support, resources and attention
they need to transition back home.
Finding permanent housing solutions
for our men and women in uniform is
a subject that has received national
attention in recent years, and in 2009
the White House announced a call
to end chronic homelessness for
veterans by 2016. Here's a look at how
some communities-and banks-are
answering that call.
In August, lawmakers from across
Connecticut gathered on the grounds of
Victory Gardens, a supportive housing
development in Newington-a quaint
yet booming town bordering the capital
city of Hartford. Webster Bank, just down
the road from Victory Gardens, helped
fuel the 74-unit project that also provides
on-site wellness services for residents.
Working closely with the Women's
Institute for Housing and Economic
Development, the bank understood the
requirements of the VA Connecticut
health care system's 75-year, enhanceduse lease agreement, which took nearly
two years to negotiate. "WIH started a
dialogue with us very early on," recalls
Robin Gallagher, SVP at Webster Bank.
"The project was right in our backyard,
and this is the kind of support we strongly
The first of its kind in Connecticut,
the financing terms called for "flexible
and creative underwriting, without
sacrificing quality," says Gallagher. The
project has won regional recognition,
including a nod for "demonstrated
financial innovation" from a leading
real estate consulting firm.
Integrated living in L.A.
In a section of Los Angeles denser
than most U.S. neighborhoods its
size, disabled veterans will soon have
a much-needed, enhanced sense of
belonging-thanks in part to Wells
Fargo and local partner Skid Row
Housing Trust. The Six Apartments
will be an urban oasis that cleverly
mixes private residences, support
services and rehabilitation space for
52 veterans and their families.
Five stories seamlessly transition
from public courtyards, gardens
and storefronts to private, secure
dwellings-resulting in a vibrant,
integrated living experience. One
of two stops that tour-goers will see
this month during the ABA Annual
Convention Community Development
Tour led by the ABA Foundation, the
Six will give new meaning not only
to a formerly vacant lot, but also to
the heroes who will call it home.
FHLB Dallas HAVEN grants
The Housing Assistance for Veterans, or
HAVEN, grants are given by the Federal
Home Loan Bank of Dallas and help
assist veterans in the region with home
modifications or newly constructed
homes. An "above and beyond kind of
program," as the Dallas Fed's director of
community investment, Greg Hettrick,
calls it, HAVEN funding to date has
reached 25 service members disabled
by active duty since 9/11 through grants
to 14 separate financial institutions.
"We looked a little deeper, and what
we saw is a lot more men and women
coming back from duty with debilitating
injuries," says Hettrick. "That means
meeting additional challenges while
adjusting to life after service."
Houston's Green Bank has put
HAVEN dollars to work for two of
its customers. One, a Purple Heart
recipient who served in Afghanistan,
is now able to reside more safely in
his family home. From replacing floor
surfaces to eliminate trip hazards, to
fully rebuilding the front entrance, the
veteran and his qualified-caregiver
spouse have made functional
improvements through the program.
They even built a backyard dog run,
allowing adequate exercise for the
family's service animal. "Green Bank
took care of [the dog run] independent
of the grant," Hettrick says. The
veteran had gone the extra mile for his
country, and Green Bank was honored
to the same for its customer.
KERRY O'LEARY is a staff writer
for the ABA Banking Journal.
aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015
A Conversation With the Comptroller
Cover Story Doing the Right Thing
Big Data and Predictive Analytics: A Big Deal, Indeed
Stress Testing: Feeling the Pressure?
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Tool Helps Combat Risk
Real Estate Lending
Banker Recommended Reading
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.