Windsor Veterans Village, a new apartment complex for veterans and their families in Sonoma County, will celebrate its official grand opening during a ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 6.
The first veterans moved in this August, two years after the project broke ground in July 2019.
The Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) program provided funding for the development. The VHHP program involves a collaboration of state agencies – the California Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the California Housing Finance Agency.
“During the groundbreaking ceremony that warm summer day in 2019, you could see this would be an ideal setting for our veterans,” said CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD. “And we see that this vision has been spectacularly realized. Windsor Veterans Village is, indeed, a beautiful and bucolic place that represents the safety, security, and opportunity that the VHHP program was created to provide for at-risk veterans. CalVet is thrilled to be part of making this happen in Sonoma County.”
Voters passed Prop. 41 in 2014, earmarking $600 million in bond sale proceeds for service-rich, multifamily affordable housing for veterans with an emphasis on helping veterans who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless. Veterans Housing Development Corporation, the developer for Windsor, received $9.9 million from Round 4 funding, which was awarded in May 2018.
Set among majestic oak trees, the complex includes 59 one- and two-bedroom permanent supportive housing apartments available to veterans and their families experiencing homelessness with income levels between 30- and 50 percent of the area median income. The campus includes a community center, a computer room, laundry facilities, a community garden, covered parking, outdoor playgrounds, and recreational spaces.
Windsor also includes offices for case management and supportive services that veteran tenants may need, including substance use disorder treatment, mental health care benefits and counseling, employment and education services, legal aid, transportation, and community-building recreation.
To date, VHHP has awarded six rounds of funding, totaling nearly $492 million for 89 projects that, when completed, will provide over 3,100 affordable housing units for veterans experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.
Entering its first holiday season, Windsor was adopted by the Legion of Honor, a non-profit organization that provided a Thanksgiving dinner, along with bedding, furniture, and other household items for some of the veterans.
Among the residents are a veteran and his wife who lost their rented home in one of the wildfires in northern California and found themselves homeless. They learned about Windsor and moved in a few months ago.
“We love it here,” the veteran’s wife said. “It was a lifesaver.”