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September 5, 2018

Togus Cabins in the Woods open for veterans

Courtesy / Volunteers of America The Cabins in the Woods at Maine VA Healthcare System-Togus.

Veterans in Maine have a new housing option, with the construction of 21 energy-efficient, ADA accessible residential cabins on the campus of VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus in Chelsea.

The $4.2 million project was completed in August, and most of the one and two-bedroom cabins are occupied, according to MaineHousing, which partnered with Volunteers of America-Northern New England on the project.

There are 16 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom cabins, all less than 800 square feet, as well as a 4,000-square-foot two-bedroom cabin for office and community space.

The project, on 11 acres, is the only one in Maine that provides housing for both male and female veterans.

Construction was mostly financed through the 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program administered through MaineHousing. The federal Office of Veterans Affairs has given the group a 75-year lease on the land and the Home Depot Foundation funded a portion of cabin construction costs.

Special attention was given to maintaining a rustic, wooded private setting for each for the cabins, according to Volunteers of America. Though they are in a wooded setting, they are also within walking distance of health services at the 500-acre Togus campus outside of Augusta.

“With an emphasis on family reunification and employment, Cabin in the Woods will work with many local, regional, state and federal agencies to meet the needs of veterans and their families,” the organization’s website says.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at the site.

Involved in the project were construction manager Langford and Low, of Portland; drawings and renderings by Robert Foster Architects, of Portland; site design by Sebago Technics, of South Portland; structural work by SRG Engineering, of Gray; mechanical work by Mechanical Systems Engineers, of Yarmouth; electrical by Swiftcurrent Engineering, of Yarmouth.

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