U.S. Bank, Mercy Housing California, and New Directions have closed on a financing package that paves the way for El Monte Veterans Housing, a $12.8 million affordable housing development aimed at supporting returning veterans in Los Angeles County who might otherwise be homeless. Construction starts this month with completion expected in March 2014. El Monte Veterans Housing is located 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, and will offer 40 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless veterans. Los Angeles County has the highest population of homeless veterans in the United States, with more than 8,000 in need of supportive housing. U.S. Bank, a longtime partner of Mercy Housing across the country, is providing a more than $6.7 million construction loan and a nearly $8.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity through its community development subsidiary U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. “We look for every opportunity to support our veterans and this is the most recent example of that commitment,” said Sean Foley, president of U.S. Bank in Southern California. “Our Proud To Serve initiative, which U.S. Bank launched in 2008, offers veterans and their families recognition, benefits and services tailored to their unique circumstances.” U.S. Bank has received accolades for its commitment to veterans and active duty members of the military including recognition in Military Times, GI Jobs, and US Veterans magazines. “We’re pleased to help provide for veterans, just as service men and women have provided for us,” said Ben Phillips, Mercy Housing California Regional Development Director. “Veterans deserve the opportunity to return to a safe and affordable community and we feel honored and excited to be able to provide this facility.” The three story building will offer onsite amenities such as a clubhouse, community room, computer center, elevator, laundry facilities, courtyard and picnic area and garages. New Directions, which has specialized in veteran affairs since 1992, will offer an array of services for residents including substance abuse treatment, counseling, remedial education, job training and placement, and parenting and money management classes.