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09Oct

Officials Break Ground on New Veteran Housing Project in Mount Carmel

Borough veterans expressed their support of a new low-income housing project being designed for older servicemen and women in Mount Carmel.

State, county and borough officials joined several local veterans on Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $983,000 Freedom Court, a low-income housing project designed for senior veterans. The Housing Authority of Northumberland County project will be built on an empty lot where a 1940s war garden, which provided community food to help people during war rationing, once stood.

“I am 100 percent for this project,” said Dave Fantini, who served in the Marine Corps. during the Vietnam War era. “There are a lot of veterans who need the help. It’s nice to see America change and support the veterans, and it’s great to see the community support.”

Alan Matzura, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the ’80s, said this is good for Mount Carmel.

“There are so many veterans who are homeless and need help,” Matzura said. “If it helps some World War II veteran and his wife, or a Vietnam War veteran, or any veteran from our past, it’s perfect.”

Freedom Court is a “perfect name,” said Fantini, “because veterans are why we have our freedom.”

This development will include the construction of five garden-style apartments located at 310 W. Seventh St. Each apartment will feature a full kitchen, dining room/living room combination, bath and bedroom. The design will have front porches and additional parking. It is modeled after Phoenix Court Apartments in Atlas, near Mount Carmel, that opened last year.

Funding consists of $750,000 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s HOME Investment Partnership Program, $200,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund and $33,640 from the county’s Community Development Block Grant Funds. D. Molesevich & Sons Construction Inc. is donating excavating services.

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