National Equity Fund

Iconic Civil War Era Property Milwaukee Soldier’s Home Wins Charles L. Edson Award

Matt And Jonathan Milwaukee Soldiers Home Edson Award
September 23, 2021

The Alexander Company’s Milwaukee Soldiers Home has been officially recognized as a 2021 recipient of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Housing for Veterans of the Armed Forces category. Presented annually by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the Edson Awards “honor Housing Credit developments that strengthen communities, improve resident opportunities and support economies in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country”. Founded in 1988, AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

“It was my honor to present the 2021 Edson Award to Milwaukee Soldier’s Home today. NEF partner, The Alexander Company, in collaboration with countless community partners, worked together to preserve and transform this iconic campus into 101 apartments for veterans and their families at risk of homelessness,” said National Equity Fund president & CEO, Matt Reilein.

Milwaukee Soldiers Home is situated on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. The most iconic building – known as Old Main—was constructed in 1867 as a place of recuperation for Civil War soldiers as they transitioned back into society as part of one of the last pieces of legislation signed by President Lincoln.

Today, six historic buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home grounds, including a National Historic Landmark, have been rehabilitated and returned to their original purpose – the service of veterans. The development also serves families experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. All residents of the Milwaukee Soldiers Home now have access to a range of supportive services, provided on-site by the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Medical Center HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Services include care coordination, education training and employment assistance, benefits assistance, and peer-to-peer counseling. Milwaukee Soldiers Home is also one of the first developments in the nation and the first in Wisconsin financed with a hybrid structure using 4 percent and 9 percent Housing Credits. This kind of innovative financial solution is our specialty at NEF, and we are proud to have accomplished it in collaboration with our partners at The Alexander Company.

Senator Tammy Baldwin provided a statement congratulating the development’s success, “We have a shared responsibility to meet the needs of veterans who served our nation and who are experiencing homelessness. I am so grateful for The Milwaukee Soldiers Home and the work the Alexander Company did to bring it to life. The Milwaukee Soldiers Home provides veterans in Wisconsin with the critical assistance they deserve to acquire housing and meet their daily living needs, and I can’t think of an organization more deserving of the Housing for Veterans of the Armed Forces award.”

At NEF, we are proud to have served as syndicators for this exceptional example of supportive affordable housing. The thoughtful rehabilitation of a historic building to serve its original purpose again is a powerful symbol of what can be accomplished with great partners like The Alexander Company. In addition to their Edson Award recognition, Milwaukee Soldiers Home also recently won an Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) Reader’s Choice in the Historic Rehab category.

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