Veterans Day Celebration Marks Groundbreaking on A Safe Haven Veteran Village, Melrose Park’s Newest Housing Development

Developers A Safe Haven Foundation and West Suburban Housing Development Corporation team up to deliver new project that fills a critical affordable housing need in a community that is undergoing dramatic improvements. Lightengale Group provided assistance to the developers from the early stages of the project through closing.

This most recent Veterans Day was a chance for everyone to thank our veterans and reflect on their courage, devotion, and sacrifices for our country. In Melrose Park, it was also an opportunity for the community to give something back with the celebration of groundbreaking on the new A Safe Haven Veteran Village housing development.

A Safe Haven Veteran Village will offer 35 new two-, three-, and four-bedroom units on several sites surrounding its 101 North 15th Avenue location, near Westlake Community Hospital. As the name suggests the project will prioritize veterans with families, along with families from the state referral network, who will both benefit from convenient and nearby access to the hospital, schools, Juan A. Montoya Park and the George A. Leoni Complex, a public library, and local businesses. The site itself will also feature a new playground, an on-site management office, and space for services, including adult education, employment assistance, financial literacy courses, and veteran-specific outreach.

“We are delighted that A Safe Haven and the West Suburban Housing Development Corporation are able to build these new housing units which will benefit homeless veterans and those in transition after having done so much to serve our country,” said Melrose Park  Mayor Ron Serpico.

Lightengale Group played a role from early in the project to helping identify and secure the financing needed to bring the project to life. LGG helped development partners A Safe Haven Foundation and Melrose Park-based West Suburban Housing Development Corporation create a structure to work together on the project, and worked for several years with local government officials and Westlake Community Hospital to secure the site for development. Lightengale Group was able to manage a complex closing to bring the $12 million project across the finish line.

In fact, this project was more than just business as usual for Lightengale Group. Working on Veteran Village allowed LGG partner Larry Pusateri an opportunity to return to his boyhood roots in Melrose Park, where he grew up and attended elementary school. Larry’s father and grandparents also lived in Melrose Park, and it was particularly gratifying for him to return after so many years and make a valuable contribution to the community.

“At A Safe Haven Foundation, we are very excited for the opportunity to develop A Safe Haven Veteran Village and to expand our footprint of affordable housing for our military families in Melrose Park. Since 1994, A Safe Haven has served as an anchor housing organization serving the Chicagoland area. In the last two years alone, we have provided access to housing to over 2,000 military veterans. The ASH Veteran Village project will fill a major gap in available affordable housing for our nation’s heroes and their families. We are proud to have joined forces with West Suburban Housing Development Corporation and the most dedicated team of partners we could find for this project. We salute the Village of Melrose Park for their support and leadership in ensuring that our military veterans are welcomed home to a wonderful community,” said Neli Vazquez Rowland, Co-Founder & President of A Safe Haven Foundation.

Melrose Park is currently in the midst of a revitalization initiative designed to improve abandoned and undeveloped lots, and A Safe Haven Veteran Village is one of the first area projects that promises to increase density and create a cohesive community. The development has enjoyed widespread local support, and now local veterans and their families will have a place to call home as A Safe Haven Foundation engages its mission to ease their transition to long term employment and permanent housing.