Community gathers to support affordable housing for veterans

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SAN DIEGO - Veterans who are also residents of Poway stood together Saturday to fight for what they believe in, affordable housing for those who served our country.

The gathering comes after the recent 3-2 council vote that rejected the plan by Habitat for Humanity to build a 22 unit affordable housing complex for veterans on city property. The change of plans now has Len Wall, a Vietnam veteran, uncertain about his future.

“I need this housing otherwise I don’t know what exactly you do when you can’t afford rent anymore,” said Wall.

After serving 10 years in the U.S. NAVY, Wall a disabled veteran coached football in the city of Poway for 36 years where he raised a family. He and other veterans say they’re disappointed the project was denied.

“I’ve seen some pretty sad housing for not only active duty but also veterans around the world. So this is a really important project,” said Louis Irvin, a retired Marine Corp. Veteran.

The rejection is why Poway Deputy Mayor Jim Cunningham organized a call to action after three council members including Mayor Steve Vaus voted against the project with concerns over traffic, density and the $800,000 it will cost the city.

“To reconsider the impact this is having on our veterans not only just in our community but nationwide," said  Deputy Mayor Cunningham.

Flyers that read Poway puts vets first were handed out to those in attendance. The flyers encouraging residents to reach out to the two council members and the mayor to  reconsider their vote.

“I’m going to write each one of them and say we understand your concerns we understand the questions they have been addressed," said one supporter.

The hope supporter’s say is to rescind the vote by December 15.

“It’s just a sad state when your community can’t support something like this,” said Wall.