Tucson, Arizona 2022-05-20 19:00:00 –
When Habitat for Humanity Tucson invites the general public to learn more about the program, usually about 50 to 100 people appear.
What was the last briefing session in February? Over 300.
“Families cite rising rents, lack of affordable housing, dangerous areas and overcrowding,” said Laura Sanchez, director of marketing and communications at the agency. “A significant increase in the number of people in our community seeking affordable homes.”
Tucsonan Ignacio Gamez, 62, is one of the lucky ones. He learned about the Habitat for Humanity veterans’ opportunity a few years ago and is now the owner of a new two-bedroom home on East 24th Street.
A 20-year Navy veteran is very grateful for this opportunity and plans to provide additional room to other veterans who need a place to stay overnight or for a while.
“I truly believe that God blesses us so that we can bless others,” he said.
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Gamez has joined a program called Veterans Build. The program was launched nationwide in 2013 and was soon featured here.
“Here in Tucson there is a very large and active veterans community. Participating in building decent and affordable homes for veterans’ families and safe for veterans to call home I am honored to advocate having a stable place in the city, “Charlie said. Buchanan, CEO of Habitat Tucson.
As a future homeowner, Gamez spent hours helping builders and volunteering at the Tucson Habistore. He said he enjoyed it all and thanked him for what he was expected to help.
“These guys and gals just roll up their sleeves and say,’Let’s get it done,'” he said. “They are wonderful people.”
About 2.5 million veterans who lead households are over 55 years old and National Low Income Housing Union Report. And 24% of them suffer from housing costs. Approximately 35% of older veterans have disabilities that require home remodeling and the need for support services.
In Tucson, about 448 veterans can use these federal housing vouchers to pay rents, but higher rents put many at risk.
Gamez, who graduated from high school and joined the army here, had a helicopter accident over the Indian Ocean while on duty. He has undergone several related surgeries due to his back problems and may eventually require spinal fusion.
“In the last 15 years, I’ve gotten more than I negotiated, but I hate to complain,” he said. “I have a friend who never got back, a friend in a wheelchair.”
After retiring from service, Gamez worked for the Arizona Juvenile Corrections Bureau for over a decade. He is currently with his relatives but is looking forward to having his own space.
“In addition to veteran home ownership programs, we also have a home repair program in partnership with low-income veterans to perform important home and safety repairs such as lamps, accessible showers and other livable repairs,” Sanchez said. Says. “Through our program, we support about 12 veterans each year.”
She said more than 100 volunteers attended Veterans Build Day in late April, including Home Depot, Caterpillar, Raytheon, HDS Trucks, and a few active military personnel.
Reporter Patty Machelor (806-7754) or firstname.lastname@example.org
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