BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The Bernards Township Committee on Tuesday night pledged support for a proposal to build another 50 units of housing to serve homeless veterans on the Lyons campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System off Valley Road.

The new housing would be near the first 62 apartments at the VA facility, which had opened in 2013 as the nation's first housing development specifically built to serve homeless veterans, said Michael Armstrong, chief executive officer of Parsippany-based Community Hope, sponsor of the veterans housing projects.

Besides filling a need for veterans, the 50 new one-bedroom apartments to be constructed also are expected to help Bernards Township meet its state obligation for affordable housing, township officials said at the meeting.

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Township pledges $750,000 of support from developer-financed trust fund

The resolution that was unanimously approved by the five Township Committee members includes a pledge of $750,000 from a special Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The trust fund was built up at a time when the state required developers within wealthier communities to contribute to such affordable housing, and does not include taxpayer funds from Bernards Township.

Valley Brook Village's apartments are fully occupied with 62 veterans who also receive such services as job training and medical care at the Lyons VA facility.

Valley Brook Village II is on the books to include 50 new 1-bedroom units, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said Community Hope plans to apply for necessary permits in May. After the meeting, he said that the groundbreaking and completion of the project would depend on when needed approvals are obtained.