GSA Helps Improve the Lives of Retired Veterans

In recent years, GSA has helped provide for senior veterans with the construction of two major projects at The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) in Gulfport, Miss. and its sister facility in Washington, D.C., which allow residents to maintain an independent lifestyle in an environment designed for personal safety, comfort, and enrichment. GSA’s completion of these projects represents the agency’s commitment to those who have served in military.

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The Armed Forces Retirement Home – Gulfport

The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss.
The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss.

When Hurricane Katrina forced the 11-story AFRH in Gulfport, Miss. to close — leaving residents of the home without shelter — GSA began the construction of three eight-story buildings to replace it. The new facility was designed to mitigate the effects of a category five hurricane, and includes 584 rooms that are more than four times larger than the rooms in the old facility. In addition to the larger rooms, the building has plenty of amenities for retired residents, including a swimming pool, bowling center, bike shop, and fitness center. In the fall of 2010, more than 200 former residents of the home returned to the new Gulfport facility after being forced to relocate to D.C.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington

In 2013, GSA completed a new $80 million residence hall on the 272-acre campus of the AFRH in Washington, D.C. The new Scott Building, which is named after General Winfield Scott who founded the home in 1851, is a 160,000 square feet, and includes rooftop gardens, sunlit common areas, hobby shops, and a computer room and library, as well as 36 rooms for long-term nursing care and 24 rooms for residents who need memory support. The design of the building reflects input from resident focus groups, vast research in senior care, and new ideas in environmental design and green energy. Last year, the Scott Building was awarded the 2013 Associated Builders and Contractors Award of Excellence for its energy efficient features.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.
The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.

GSA is currently assisting the AFRH with the development of 77 acres of its campus into a mixed-use neighborhood of more than four million square feet.

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In 1991, Congress incorporated the U.S. Naval Home — founded in 1834 — and U. S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home — founded in 1851 — into an independent agency of the federal government named the Armed Forces Retirement Home Agency. In 2002, the names of the two homes were officially changed to The Armed Forces Retirement Home – Gulfport and The Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington. Senior veterans from all service branches can live at the homes, and more than 1,000 men and women currently reside at the facilities.