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Vets to have new rental options

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Marion County veterans will soon have a new option to help secure affordable rental housing.
The Volunteers of America of Florida will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ritz Reserve (1124 NE Second St., Ocala), a new housing development for veterans. The event is set for Friday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. and will include brief remarks, a success story and recognition of community partners.
One of those partners is Marion County Community Services, a department of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners. Community Services administers state and federal grants for housing and community development programs in addition to federal funds for neighborhood stabilization and homelessness prevention.
For this project, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnership and State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funds have been awarded to Volunteers of America of Florida for the acquisition, all site work and construction of the first of four buildings of affordable rental units prioritized for and targeted to veterans. Many of these veterans may be transitioning out of the existing Ocala Ritz Veterans Village program located next door.
“The best part of this project is the location being in such close proximity to local veterans’ services,” said Cheryl Amey, Community Services Director. “With the VA and Marion County Veterans Services offices nearby, these new apartments are ideal for veterans seeking permanent housing.”
Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping more than 2 million people in over 400 communities live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, it has supported America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others.
For more information about Ritz Reserve or to RSVP to the groundbreaking ceremony, contact Wendy Whitescarver with Volunteers of America of Florida at wwhitescarver@voa-fla.org or 727-498-4074.