Governor Steve Bullock announced in a press release on Tuesday that $30.6 million in federal tax credits will be allocated to five communities in Montana to preserve or construct new affordable housing.
Federal housing credits allow developers to borrow less money for construction and pass those savings along to families and individuals through lower rent. Federal tax credits fund the construction or rehabilitation of approximately 220 rental homes each year. Over the past five years, they have created an annual average of approximately 608 jobs, $27.3 million in local wages and more than $2.4 million in new taxes and revenues for local governments.
The following communities have received this year’s round of Housing Credits:
- Billings: Chapel Court received $8,023,103 for a new construction project of 50 units for seniors. Total project investment of $10,360,579 will result in 139 Montana jobs earning $6.2 million in wages and salaries supported by construction activity. Developer: St. John’s Lutheran/CR Builders.
- Havre: Oakwood Village received $3,881,250 for acquisition and rehabilitation to preserve 60 units for families. Total project investment of $7,716,755 will result in 100 Montana jobs earning $4.5 million in wages and salaries supported by construction activity. Developer: Affiliated Developers.
- Helena: Red Alder received $7,790,000 for a new construction project of 37 units for families. Total project investment of $8,268,072 will result in 111 Montana jobs earning $5 million in wages and salaries supported by construction activity. Developer: RMDC & GLD.
- Ronan: Meadowlark Vista received $4,182,970 for a new construction project of 24 units for families. Total project investment of $5,594,894 will result in 75 Montana jobs earning $3.4 million in wages and salaries supported by construction activity. Developer: RCAC.
- Whitefish: Whitefish HA-HW Project received $6,750,000 for a new construction project of 38 units for families. Total project investment of $8,708,814 will result in 117 Montana jobs earning $5.2 million in wages and salaries supported by construction activity. Developer: Homeword, Inc.
After previously narrowing down the applications to eight finalists, the Governor-appointed Montana Board of Housing at a public meeting Monday voted on the final allocation. The Montana Board of Housing is part of Montana Housing at the Department of Commerce.
UPDATE – Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc. (Rocky) in partnership with GL Development announced their allocation of low-income housing tax credits of $9.2 million dollars in projected equity from the Montana Board of Housing to build an 85 unit, affordable and workforce housing complex on the west side of Helena. The new residences will be called Red Alder Residences and will be located at the corner of Henderson and Brady Street.
One of five projects funded for tax credits across the state of Montana, Red Alder Residences will provide new affordable housing opportunities for both families and seniors, offering one, two, and three bedroom apartments. Rental rates will aim to help residents who earn too much to qualify for government assistance but not enough to pay the rent.
Four Helena community members provided public comment yesterday in support of the project at the Montana Board of Housing meeting including City Commissioner, Andres Haladay.
“Today’s news regarding the funding of Red Alder Residences is fantastic for the City of Helena. We have a critical shortage of affordable housing in our community and the City often struggles to find the tools and money to work towards a solution. That’s why it’s so important that the City of Helena support its community partners in the development of projects like Red Alder,” Commissioner Haladay said upon hearing the news of funding.
“Now we need to get this project past the finish line. It’s so important Red Alder be able to leverage HOME Funds and Housing Trust Funds from the Montana Department of Commerce. The Housing Trust Funds Program would allow us to provide housing for residents at 30% of the area median income, a virtually underserved group. I hope the Department of Commerce recognizes how critical this funding is for the future of the City of Helena,” Commissioner Haladay said.
“We would like to thank the City of Helena for their active support of this project,” Lori Ladas, Executive Director at Rocky said. “We would also like to thank our Board Chairman, Daniel Pocha, and our Board of Directors for their unwavering support in this process. Finally, we would like to thank the Montana Board of Housing for recognizing the need for affordable and workforce housing in Helena.”
“This is exciting news for our community,” Liz Mogstad, Affordable Housing Director at Rocky said. “The last time Helena was awarded credits for a family project was in 2006.”
The total approximate cost of Red Alder Residences is projected at $18 million dollars. With the tax credits combined with bond financing, Rocky and GL Development have been able to secure funding for eighty six percent of the project.
“With the funding of tax credits from the Montana Board of Housing, we are one step closer to bringing this project to fruition for our community,” Mogstad explained.