YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima housing organization says it has received $2.5 million to build apartments intended for military veterans and their families.

Next Step Housing, which operates five clean-and-sober housing developments in Yakima, announced Friday the funding award from the state’s Housing Trust Fund.

Next Step’s executive director, John Mifsud, said the money will allow his organization to start construction in March.

The project, with an estimated total cost of $3.2 million, should be finished by October. Mifsud said Next Step is still working to secure the rest of the funding.

The 22 apartments — 18 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom — will be built within the existing Pear Tree Place Apartments at the corner of Powerhouse Road and Englewood Avenue. Like other residents in Next Step apartments, the veteran residents will be restricted from using drugs or alcohol, Mifsud said.

He said a veteran-focused project seemed appropriate, given the number of troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least 16 of the 22 apartments, and perhaps more, will be reserved for veterans, he said.