Two Riverside County affordable housing projects were awarded a total $15.1 million in state grants for the construction or expansion of apartments and townhomes reserved for qualifying veterans and their families, it was announced Thursday.

Officials from the California Veterans Housing & Homelessness Prevention Program said the disbursals to Oasis Senior Villas and Veterans Village of Cathedral City were part of Round Five of funding from Proposition 41, a measure approved by voters in 2014 to supply $600 million in grants to developers and nonprofits that acquire, build, rehabilitate and preserve multi-family housing units.

More than $83 million was allocated in the latest round of distributions. To date, $360.3 million has been awarded to 75 projects.

“This round of awards … reinforces the reality that our veterans need affordable housing with wrap-around supportive services, especially in these times of economic uncertainty,” CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani said. “Our veterans have made great personal sacrifices during their service. In turn, they deserve a safe place they can call home.”

The award to Oasis Senior Villas totals $9.62 million, while the share to Veterans Village of Cathedral City is $5.5 million.

Projects that receive awards are required to meet criteria that facilitate access by vets and their immediate loved ones, including limitations on rent, based on the “Housing First” model.

“Housing First removes barriers that many homeless veterans face in trying to find affordable homes,” California Department of Housing & Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez said. “It gives veterans a place to call home without making them meet unrealistic requirements, so they’re in a better position to address any issues they may be experiencing. This critical program serves those who served this country in a way that shows respect and compassion.”

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