Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
Edith Nourse Rogers was sworn in as the Congresswoman representing Bedford and the Fifth District of Massachusetts on June 30, 1925. Ninety years later on June 29, 2015 the cornerstone for Bedford Green, a public private partnership utilizing federal and state resources, was dedicated on the grounds of the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, also known as the Bedford VA Medical Center.
Among the dignitaries attending the ceremonies were several from Bedford, including Town Manager Rick Reed and Selectman Margot Fleischman along with Bedford’s State Representative Ken Gordon and Col. Michael A. Vogel, Commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom Field. Reed noted, “The Town of Bedford looks forward to the successful completion of this Veterans Administration project. It is an innovative use of excess federal land for the purpose of supplying housing our nation’s veterans in need.”
The inspiring ceremony included participation by Medical Center volunteers, staff and leadership; representatives of the public/private coalition that is bringing Bedford Green to life; Francisco Ureña, Massachusetts’ Secretary for Veterans’ Services; and Congressman Seth Moulton. Keynote speaker Will Hatley (Click here to read Will Hatley’s Keynote) earned a standing ovation after sharing the path that eventually brought him to a position as a Veteran Peer Specialist at the Bedford VA.
Congressman Moulton complimented Bedford’s [Bedford VA’s] record for opiate use that is 30% of the national average because Bedford treats the root causes of veterans’ pain rather than simply offering medication. He also cited the difficulties of rebuilding the Veterans Administration for a new generation, which he said will be a protracted obligation for America.
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Bedford Green – Project Background: In June of 2011 former Secretary Eric Shinseki launched the Building Utilization Review and Repurposing (BURR) initiative, a VA strategic effort to identify and repurpose underutilized VA land and buildings in support of VA’s goal to end Veteran homelessness. This paved the way for the development of new housing opportunities through public-private partnerships using VA’s enhanced-use lease (EUL) program which allows VA to match available buildings and land for housing with third-party development, financing, and supportive services.
Bedford Green is being developed through the Enhanced Use Lease initiative using approximately four acres of underutilized land on the campus of Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital (Bedford VA). Bedford Green will provide 70 one-bedroom units of permanent, supportive housing with priority occupancy for homeless and at risk Veterans aged 55+.
Veterans will have an array of supportive services available with on- site VA case managers and direct access to comprehensive medical, clinical and well-being services offered at the Bedford VAMC.
The community will be LEED for Gold and energy star certified and will incorporate Green Building components.
Project Details: Development financing was provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Housing and Community Development; Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; Mass Housing Affordable Housing Trust; National Equity Fund, Inc.; The Home Depot Foundation; JP Morgan Chase; NEF-LISC Bring Them Home Program; Citi Community Development Corp; and the MetLife Foundation
The development team includes
- Developers: Peabody Properties, Inc.; Windover Construction, LLC; and Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc.
- Architect: The Architectural Team
- Contractor: Windover Construction
- Civil Engineer: Horsley Witten Group
- Attorneys: Nixon Peabody, and Brown and Brown
- Management Agent: Peabody Properties, Inc.
- LEED Consultant: New Ecology, Inc.