The Riverside City Council voted unanimously yesterday (March 12, 2013) to approve an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation for the development of a new affordable housing community for disabled veterans. This is a critical first step in Wakeland's Home Front at Camp Anza project, which will create 30 affordable two-and-three-bedroom homes for disabled veterans and their families at the site of an historic former Army camp.
"We are extremely excited to embark on this unique project," said Wakeland President and CEO Ken Sauder. "Not only will the servicemen and servicewomen who live at this new community have an affordable place to live, they will also have access to much-needed medical services, recreational opportunities and workforce development education at our on-site community center."
Working in partnership with Mercy House Living Centers, Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners and the City of Riverside, Wakeland plans to create a highly-integrated project that allows disabled veterans to live independently outside of an institutional setting while still fostering a sense of community.
A key part of the project will be the renovation of the existing Camp Anza Officer's Club into a multipurpose community center where residents can receive critical support services. Wakeland plans to work carefully to preserve the historic character of this building and establish it as a landmark for the community, complete with a museum commemorating the site's rich military history.
Wakeland will next launch a series of meetings to gather input from community members in the Arlanza neighborhood of Riverside, where Home Front at Camp Anza will be built.
"Wakeland has a number of reasons to look forward to the Camp Anza project," Sauder noted. "This gives us an opportunity to apply our development expertise toward creating supportive housing for U.S. veterans as well as expand into the Riverside area."