Project Feature: Veterans Village – How Affordable Housing Can Serve Those That Have Served Us

Posted on: September 15, 2020

Health focused design and trauma informed design in affordable housing

Veterans Village is an innovative housing model that provides safe, permanent affordable housing coupled with on-site medical care and social services to meet the complex needs of formerly homeless Veterans. Health-focused design principles and an enhanced services model create a restorative environment for residents to access a continuum of services on site. As architects for such a project, we must realize how the physical environment affects identity, worth and dignity, and how it can promote empowerment, especially with residents who have experienced trauma. Veterans Village was intentionally designed to heal and to improve the emotional and physiological state of those that reside within it. Beyond the residential building and community building, Veterans Village offers plentiful open spaces that offer residents opportunities to gather and relax: two large courtyards, a large edible garden area with raised planter beds, an orchard, fenced dog run, and a new public historic plaza that shares the history of the area and the project with the community at large.

The 66-home, three-story building is a ten-minute walk to South San Francisco BART and its surrounding amenities in the County of San Mateo. The community features a variety of communal outdoor space, as well as the preservation of a historic pump building that has been converted into a community building for residents. Colma Veterans Village is the first all-veterans Mercy Housing community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Veterans Village is the first all-veterans Mercy Housing community in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This new affordable community was developed by Mercy Housing California in partnership with the San Mateo County Housing Authority, San Francisco VA Healthcare System (VA), and Brilliant Corners.  The strategic partnership between these organizations created a safe, comfortable and healthy home for our veterans.

VMWP Design Team: Rick Williams, Pam Goode, Ben Chuaqui, Laura Shagalov, Gretchen Till, and  Jeos Oreamuno

Development Team: Mercy Housing, Branagh Development, Page and Turnbull, Jett Landscape Architecture + Design, Luk Associates, MHC Engineers, MBC Engineers. and Clarke & Soffa

Posted by: Pam Goode

Posted in: FeaturesNews

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