Veterans Break Ground For New Affordable Housing

Veterans stand ready at the shovel during Monday afternoon's ground breaking.

Veterans broke ground alongside local officials and developer Pennrose at the site of a new affordable housing residence in Bensalem Monday.

A poster displays the planned exterior for the Bensalem Veterans Residences.

The 39,673-square-foot plot is located at the intersection of Mechanicsville Road and Street Road. Pennrose President Mark Dambly says the coming three story building will feature high quality, affordable residences for those who have served their country.

“The amenities will include a community room with exterior patio, lounges, laundry rooms on each floor, fitness center, community service office, and conference space.

Skip Bates on the Bensalem Veterans Advisory Board says the 40 units should go to locals first.

Members of the Bensalem Veterans Affairs Advisory Board join the press conference.

“We want to make sure that the veterans seeking assitance for these homes that live in Bensalem have first dibs,” Bates explained. “That’s just the way I feel and I think that’s the way it should be.”

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick attended the gathering and announced he has co-sponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 3077). The bill would help developers build more affordable housing for veterans and other underserved groups.

“These projects take a long time and they are sorely needed,” Fitzpatrick said. “40 units is a good start. I think we need to do much better. Bensalem has proven to be the model and we’re going to expand that, hopefully with the tax credit improvement act, to do our solemn obligation which is to take care of those who have taken care of us.”

Council President Joseph Knowles thanked the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board and the local VFW for their continued effort. Knowles also said they would continue to make sure veterans who live in Bensalem can continue to live in the area they know.

“It brings me extra pleasure to know the Vietnam veterans and Korean veterans are hitting the age now that they need this type of housing – especially the Vietnam veterans, some of which didn’t get the recognition and respect they deserved when they came back.”