ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — Patriots Landing is made up of five houses that were set aside to give returning veterans and their families a place to stay. It’s meant to be transitional housing for veterans.
“There used to be nobody here,” said veteran Ron Coveney. “The houses were falling apart. Veteran organizations came in and paid to repair them so they could be used for veterans and their families.”
Across the street from the Rocky Hill Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) facility, the houses were renovated at a cost of $250,000. In January 2014, the News 8 Investigators found the houses empty, some houses having gone empty since the renovation.
Friday, we asked the Department of Veteran Affairs for the list of veterans currently staying in the five houses. Here is the breakdown provided by staff:
- Three houses have families in them.
- One house is housing a single veteran.
- One house is vacant.
At the end of June, another house will be vacant.
These numbers are better than they were last year, but Coveney said keeping these houses empty is a symptom of a larger and more persistent problem at the DVA.
“The complete legislative report says they’re a total failure,” said Coveney.
Next month, Coveney will be one of two veterans sitting on the Board of Trustees. One of his first actions will be to request financial records that until now have been hidden.
“They have to be more transparent and I think that’s going to make a big difference here,” said Coveney. “The next six months is going to totally change the way this place has operated for decades.”