NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six military veterans from across Long Island received keys Thursday to new homes that were built just for them on a big discount.
The homes in Islandia were built by the Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp. specifically for returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The six-lot subdivision, which has been dubbed “Veterans Way,” features three-bedroom homes at the cost of $199,000, about half of the going market rate.
Former Marines Lance Cpl. Paul Milazzo was one of the lucky veterans to be offered a new home at a discounted price, 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reported. The 29-year-old served four years with the Marines.
Milazzo had previously been living in a one-bedroom place with his wife and 2-month-old son, Liam, before receiving the news that he had been chosen for the special offer.
“Knowing that we have a family surrounded by us, filled with veterans — he’s going to be one lucky kid, growing up in a neighborhood like this,” Milazzo said of his son’s future.
Milazzo was incredulous that complete strangers had built the brand new homes.
“It’s overwhelming to be honest with you,” he told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
As the year wound down workers were in a race against the clock to have work on the homes completed ahead of the new year.
“You cannot believe the number of people who worked to make sure this happened, from the electricians to the guy who laid the sod,” Long Island Home Builders Corp. CEO, Mitchell Pally said.
Milazzo’s wife Marianne was grateful for the family’s new home.
“This is th ebest present ever. Who gets a house for Christmas?” she said.
Milazzo said that upon returning from Iraq his family realized that they could no longer afford to live on Long Island. They had been preparing to move out of state when this Christmas gift landed in their laps.
The six veterans were selected from a group of 130 applicants by a panel of Veterans of Foreign War commanders.
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