Property in Macomb County has been chosen over a site in Green Oak Township for the home of a new veterans housing complex.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, or MVAA, had been considering Sebille Manor in Chesterfield Township and the former site of the W.J. Maxey Boys Training School in Green Oak Township, which closed in 2015. The MVAA announced Wednesday their decision to purchase Sebille Manor from the U.S. Department of Defense at a cost of $820,000 as the soon-to-be site of the Southeast Michigan Veterans Home. The site, which is near the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, was formerly used for military housing. The new facility will house 128 veterans in complexes split into four homes that connect to a community center.

Adam Smiddy, Director of the Livingston County Department of Veterans’ Services, says he's disappointed, but that the decision between the two sites is one that lies solely with the MVAA, noting some community members have inquired about the decision-making process. He says it's up to the MVAA and their due diligence in choosing a site that they found the most appropriate.

Smiddy says he did have a conversation with the MVAA after learning of their decision. Agency officials have cited the Sebille Manor property’s proximity to all three regions of the tri-county area as one of the reasons why. Smiddy took the high road when the MVAA indicated they would be relying on Livingston County Veterans’ Services for some support from the county’s veteran’s millage, which Smiddy said they are happy and willing to help with.

He says the new living complex will be a “very nice facility”, but feels it’s not as accessible as the Maxey Boys site would’ve been. Smiddy says locally there is a need for a low-cost facility for the elderly veteran population in general, as they see many who don’t have the resources to place themselves in some of the nearby facilities. The Maxey Boys site could still be considered in the future, as the MVAA plans to build seven new veterans homes across the state over the next 10 years. (DK)