Mortgage free housing for veterans coming to Jacksonville

By Ryne Turke on August 8, 2016 at 8:22pm

A non-profit organization is providing cheaper homes for veterans in Jacksonville.

A Patriot Home Executive Director Everett Grady addressed aldermen during the City Council workshop session on Monday.

A Patriot Home will offer mortgage free housing to veterans, while focusing on cultivating vibrant communities and rebuilding lives.

Grady says the organization is similar to Operation Homefront, which has donated 550 homes to veterans over the last five years.

“After about eight months of talking, we wanted to focus on a new program that houses veterans in one community, instead of all over the country. That way they could provide additional program work to veterans and their families. Our main mission is to provide mortgage free housing. We will donate them to Operation Homefront, then they would find the candidates that fit those needs,” says Grady.

Grady, who is originally from Jacksonville, says the city’s growth makes it a perfect candidate for the pilot program.

“For the first year we are looking to redo 50 homes, almost one a week. We are planning on putting $10-million in investments into Jacksonville and redoing these homes.”

A Patriot Home, which will start buying local houses in the coming months, plans on using local contractors for the projects.

Go to to request support on specific home repairs and if you are a veteran who would like to apply for a home.

A national fundraiser, which will give away a $2-million home, has already started at

In other action, several Jacksonville firefighters were honored to kick off the meeting.

Firefighter paramedics Joe Hosteny and Zack Reed, as well as firefighter Ricky Padilla, were welcomed to the Jacksonville Fire Department.

Lt. Matt Leischner was presented a plaque for 20 years of service, Dan Klendworth was recognized for his promotion to driver engineer and Steve King was honored for his 9th place finish at the Reebok Crossfit Games.

Aldermen discussed salary increases for elected officials, which won’t take effect until May of 2017.

A proposal from Aldermen Don Cook listed a two percent raise for the mayor and city clerk and a $50 a month raise for aldermen. Cook pointed out that aldermen declined a pay increase the last time the topic was brought up in 2011.

The raises are still in a preliminary stage.

The City of Jacksonville is getting a new flusher truck. Aldermen approved the $388-thousand vehicle, which services the water mains and sewer systems of Jacksonville.

Water Superintendent Jack Cosner says the current truck is 19-years-old and has already undergone $12,500 in repairs this year.

Cosner believes the new truck will “be worth its weight in gold” and should provide quality service for 20 years.