Supportive Housing for Veterans Planned for N.J. Multifamily Community

The Architectural Team has designed Valley Brook Village, a planned 62-unit veteran supportive multifamily community in Lyons, N.J., which will offer on-site resident services including a variety of individually tailored outpatient treatment and job training programs.

Lyons, N.J.—The Architectural Team has designed Valley Brook Village, a planned 62-unit veteran supportive multifamily community in Lyons, N.J., which will offer on-site resident services including a variety of individually tailored outpatient treatment and job training programs.

“There are a staggering number of veterans who are in trouble and really just need a little bit of a stepping stone to get back on their feet and back into society,” Michael D. Binette, The Architectural Team’s vice president and principal, tells MHN. “What’s happening is a lot of these veterans are coming back with injuries and need to mainstream back into society. On the psychological side, there are issues that they need to get help with as well.”

Located at 151 Knollcroft Road on the VA Hospital Campus, Valley Brook will be home to war veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts dating back to the Vietnam War and will offer healthcare, counseling and support service components. It will also serve as a place for the staggering increase in women veterans.

“The government is turning to the private sector to help provide some of the services needed,” Binette says. “At Valley Brook, we have space in the building for resident services, for caseworkers, who can help hook these men and women up with job opportunities, training opportunities and work with them in a very close day-to-day way to help get them back into society and feeling good about themselves.”

The units are designed to provide a home-like setting, which is a big improvement over the institutional dorm room setting that veteran housing used to be.

“It has all the residential amenities and is designed for the physically challenged in a way that it doesn’t look like it was specifically designed for ADA compliance,” Binette says. “We incorporated these principals into 100 percent of the units to deal with different residents over time, each of whom will have different needs.”

The project was developed under the United States Department of Veteran Affairs Enhanced Use Lease Initiative in cooperation with the State of New Jersey and N.J. Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

“What the VA has learned and is focusing on going forward is providing support and focusing on these issues, whether they are physical, emotional or economic, and they are combining housing and care for the most severe needs,” Binette says. “These new supportive housing communities are unlike anything previously designed. The space is designed to provide the flexibility needed.”

Development partners included Peabody Properties, Inc. of Peabody, Mass., Windover Construction LLC, of Manchester, Mass., and service provider partner Community Hope, Inc. of Parsippany, N.J.