City of Arlington Partners with Rehab Warriors to Train Veterans, Revitalize Community Through Rebuilding the Fort Program
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on November 11, 2021, November 11, 2021

Rehab Warriors

The City of Arlington is partnering with Rehab Warriors on Rebuilding the Fort: an innovative program designed to provide residential real estate development skills to veterans and to empower low-to-moderate income residents to achieve The American Dream through job training, financial stability and safe, affordable housing.

Rehab Warriors is led by real estate developer and award-winning social entrepreneur Andy Williams, who is also host of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Fort Worth, and author of “Business is a Battleground.” Williams, a U.S. Marine, said he understands the challenges veterans face transitioning from military service to civilian life and has designed a Department of Labor certified apprenticeship program that delivers a challenging and meaningful mission-driven opportunity for veterans. Arlington is the latest city to partner with Rehab Warriors on its Rebuilding the Fort Initiative, which provides a pathway for veterans to a career in affordable housing property development.

 Through a Community Development Block Grant awarded by the City of Arlington through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Rehab Warriors will train 20 local veterans to partner with property owners and tenants in a target area known as the Central Arlington Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA). This area, located to the north and northwest of Downtown Arlington, is populated by just over 16,000 residents with a 66% minority rate and a household income that is approximately 62% of the Arlington median household income.

 “Every veteran I know, says we want to rebuild America. These communities can be rebuilt with the same purpose and passion we served overseas during the war. We can do it with our blood, our sweat, and our tears. When you think about the fundamental American dream, it starts with housing,” Williams said. “We are going to commit to building from the inside out and solving real problems and including both the veteran and the local residents in the process. We are not leaving until it is better.”

 The program’s mission in Arlington is expected to include the rehab of existing homes, demolition of dilapidated properties, construction of new homes, and workforce development. Homebuyer education and financial stability are also priorities of the mission. Working with a task force of loan officers, real estate agents, and housing counselors, the veteran participants of Rebuilding the Fort will empower interested residents towards the path to homeownership. Currently, at least 77% of those who live in the Arlington NRSA rent their homes.

 The Cohort of veterans supported by the task force of industry professionals will conduct a boots-on-the-ground outreach campaign to encourage owners to invest in their properties in an effort to create stronger neighborhoods.

 “Arlington is a beautiful city, and that area is a great location. To really participate, the owners need to buy into the idea that owning property is not just a privilege, it is a responsibility,” Williams said.

 Rehab Warriors is accepting applications for veterans who are 21 and older specifically interested in becoming a real estate developer with a passion to rebuild communities. The selected veterans will be upskilled as property developers while Rehab Warriors deploys into Arlington to execute upon Rebuilding the Fort. To qualify, the veteran must live in Arlington, have received an honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions, and be low- to moderate-income and/or be experiencing unemployment, under-employment, or job displacement. Operations will be held in Arlington.

 Click here to learn more about Rehab Warriors.

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