There may soon be a more cost-efficient option for our military men and women who have served our country to call home here at the Jersey Shore.

The governing body in Middletown Township has passed an ordinance which will allow the Middletown Redevelopment Corporation to move forward on the Affordable Veterans Housing Project.

It's a project idea that's been in the works for about two years now, explains Middletown Mayor Tony Perry, and along with the township committee were looking for a piece of land to turn this vision into a reality.

"The township committee and I decided that it was the right move to try and purchase this property on Leonardville Road and designate it for a Veterans Housing Project," Perry said. "Our plan was to create 12 affordable Veterans apartments, both one- and two-bedroom apartments all fully handicap accessible to benefit the men and women who have honorably served our nation and what better use of this property than to try and pay back just a little bit of what the price that our Veterans have paid, why not try and give them a great place to live in a downtown area in Middletown."

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Mayor Perry explains that they were able to purchase the property and also were able to take care of the necessary and required environmental work under the NJ-DEP permit process.

"We are now ready to hand over to our Middletown Housing Authority Board a clean piece of property that they're going to be able to construct 12 affordable units completely designated for the men and women who have served our country," Perry said.

It's well noted that coming home from deployment or retiring from the service all together can sometimes be a challenging transition for Military Veterans, and this Affordable Veterans Housing Project could go a long way in helping those in need of housing have a place to live.

"This housing project is more than the 12 units, in my opinion, it's more about setting a model and creating a model for other municipalities to create housing that every person can be proud of," Perry said. "When you talk about creating housing for people who have seen battle, who have seen bloodshed, and who have fought to preserve the freedom that you and I are enjoying right this minute -- you think that and you're just full of pride and filled with patriotism -- 12 units is a small piece of the pie, but if Middletown can inspire the next town and the next town and the next town, so on and so forth, then we'll really have created something that is larger than the 12 units themselves."

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For anyone looking to apply and look into living in one of these apartments, there will be an extensive check to ensure you are who you say you are and there's no-one pretending to be a Veteran.

"All those documents are required, the DD214 forms are always required for Veterans preference when it comes to housing and our Housing Authority does an excellent job in terms of its requirement process in ensuring that the people who are applying are who they say they are and really being truthful in their applications which is obviously so critically important," Perry said. "It would really be a shame if anyone tried to scam this given who it's benefitting."

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On Monday night, the town was able to sell the property, "for a nominal fee of the cleanup effort that we put into this site, just to reimburse the taxpayers, and they will then be able to move ahead immediately and begin bidding out the work to build this great facility."

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It is not only possible that shovels hit the dirt to start building this complex in 2023 but also that the whole thing will be ready to go.

"I"m going to be pushing hard enough to say that the building is going to be built in 2023, that's my goal," Perry said.

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