In 2019, a group of friends got together with the idea to develop an affordable housing project for veterans and active military personnel and their families in their hometown of Amsterdam. No one knew where to start, but someone had an idea: They should call Tom Politi.
“I was sitting at Pete’s Tavern in New York City when I got the call,” says Politi, the founder of Politi Architecture and an Amsterdam High School graduate, who splits time between New York City and Saratoga. “I went up, listened to what they had to say, and started developing what’s now the Veteran’s Time to Thrive (VT3) housing project.”
Four years later, Politi is one of VT3’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders. “This building will be the only one in the entire United States of its kind,” he says. “Everyone says, ‘Oh, no, there are other VA houses.’ No. Not like this one.”
The difference between VT3 and other VA housing lies in the sense of community it will foster by way of a communal kitchen, computer lab, library and office space where veterans can meet with counselors to discuss the challenges of transitioning to civilian life. The idea is that the military families living in VT3’s 18 units will be able to support one another in a way the general population cannot, and in turn help disrupt the cycle of suicide, divorce, addiction and other post-service problems that plague America’s veterans.
A state-of-the-art, green housing development created with military personnel in mind that will help revitalize an area devastated by urban decay? VT3 is one battle in which everyone wins.