Esperanza en Escalante, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing to homeless veterans and their families, will break ground Thursday on 50 new apartments, which are expected to be completed by next September.

This is the second phase of a housing project, also named Esperanza en Escalante, at 3710 S. Calle Polar, east of South Wilmot and south of East Golf Links roads.

The estimated $10.5-million project will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units, said Pat Beauchamp, director of operations for the organization.

Major financing for the project was provided by low-income housing tax credits through the Arizona Department of Housing, with contributions from the city and county. The project was co-developed by Gorman & Company and Esperanza en Escalante.

The entire development is rental properties and the majority is Section 8 housing, a government program that assists low-income individuals or families with rent.

“Affordable housing is very tight in Tucson and across the country,” said Beauchamp. “People deserve better than sleeping in their cars or on the street. They have the right to live with dignity and respect.”

The organization, formed in 1989 by the Tucson Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106, works closely with governmental agencies and other institutions to meet the needs of veterans. In addition to housing, support services include helping veterans with medical appointments and applying for benefits.

This second phase of apartments will be constructed within the organization’s housing development that sits on a 16-acre site.

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The project also will include a community center and a playground in a park area.

The development has a full-time case manager and a food pantry on site.

Beauchamp said a third phase is expected in the near future with the construction of about 20 apartments.

The parcel presently has 16 transitional housing units and the first phase of an estimated $6 million project constructed 44 one-bedroom apartments that were completed in 2017, said Beauchamp.

For further information about housing for homeless veterans and services provided by Esperanza en Escalante, go to www.eeeveterans.org

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@tucson.com or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar

Reporter

Carmen started at the Star in 1981 and covers the aging population. She wrote “Mama’s Santos: An Arizona Life”, a book about the Mexican and Mexican-American experience in the Southwest through stories about her family. It won 11 awards.