MISSOULA – The shortage of affordable housing in Missoula is one of the biggest problems facing the continuously expanding city.
The City of Missoula, with the help of Missoula County, will be constructing 130 new affordable housing options in Missoula to help combat the crisis.
“Missoula County will donate up to four acres of land located off Mullan Road, adjacent to the detention facility for the building of roughly up to 130 homes,” Missoula County Commission chair Cola Rowley said.
“Thirty of these will be reserved as permanent supportive housing for individuals in the coordinated entry system and 100 homes will be rented to individuals who make below 60 percent of area median income,” she added.
The goal of the project is to not just provide affordable housing but to also provide the resources needed for people experiencing chronic homelessness to stay in those homes or move into new homes.
In order to do that, the new facility will have a navigation center with all the staff and programming needed to keep a roof over people’s heads.
“The navigation center is a key component into our homeless continuum or the services that we have available for folks, especially who are experiencing chronic homelessness and who have high barriers to accessing housing,” Missoula City Office of Housing and Community Development Director Eran Pehan said.
“And so I would say that is an absolutely key component in our coordinated entry system and within our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in the community,” he added.
Blueline Development will be carrying out the project and have already conducted two similar projects in Colorado. Officials think that having a developer with that kind of experience will help throughout the course of the project.
“When you go into a project like this there are so many unknowns and to have an entity who has already done this kind of development and who brings that expertise to us it’s invaluable,” Missoula Housing Authority Executive Director Lori Davidson said.
“That’s going to help us avoid a lot of pitfalls that we might ordinarily fall into and we are just really grateful that Nate is a resident here in Missoula and lives here,” she continued.
Along with the 130 units for the Mullan Broadway area the city also plans on putting in 70 affordable housing units where the Skyview Mobile Home park used to be.