- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2018

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A new nonprofit in northwest Michigan has helped a U.S. Army veteran find an affordable home after having nowhere to live.

Dave Smiddy was forced to sell his Leelanau County home after an unexpected divorce left him unable to refinance it, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported .

“It’s heartbreaking that I’m losing my house. Absolutely heartbreaking,” he said.

Smiddy said he was going to be homeless until he discovered Veterans Housing USA, a new veterans housing program in Traverse City.

Smiddy moved Wednesday into a Traverse City home, which he’ll share with another veteran.

“I would have had nowhere to go with a house full of stuff, two dogs and a cat,” he said.

The nonprofit functions similar to a bank, allowing veterans to enter into interest-free land contracts and rent affordable spaces. Veterans Housing USA received federal approval of its nonprofit status this month.

“Veterans helping veterans is kind of the end game,” said Mike Griffith, the organization’s president.

Real estate agent Chad DeVille volunteers for the nonprofit. He believes some property owners will be interested in working with the program as a way to either sell or manage their homes.

“Housing is a crisis up here, just to get housing at all,” DeVille said.

Griffith said the nonprofit is looking for properties and donors to help more veterans.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com


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