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AWARE, Inc. seeking to build affordable homes in Butte for clients

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 17:05:51-04

BUTTE - The Butte-Silver Bow planning department recommended approval for AWARE, Inc.’s proposed subdivision and variance request to build townhomes for their clients in need of housing.

"One of the big things we do is provide safe, comfortable housing for our clients with mental health and developmental disabilities and we have that need and we’re trying to fill that need," said Steve Francisco, AWARE's operation lead.

AWARE has owned 3.3 acres of property next to its transit center for 15 years and wanted to help its clients who are unable to afford a home.

The plan sees four single-family townhouses split down the middle with two-bedroom units on each side. Also in the plan is a stormwater retention pond to help with flooding on the property.

John Sorich, a proponent of the plan, says the drainage will not only keep the townhomes safe but the next street over as well. "I’m really glad to see somebody that’s willing to take the project on. I believe AWARE is a quality outfit and I think they’ll do a good job."

Larry Winstel, speaking on behalf of the Greeley coalition, says the public was not included in the discussion and believes the homes will look out of place in the Greeley neighborhood.

"I’m all for affordable housing. There’s a critical need for it, but I don’t think this is what we want. We don’t want low-income apartments in our neighborhood, we want people that want to stay and be part of the community. We want to improve the community," said Winstel.

The board recommended approval of the variance request on an 8-1 vote with the condition that sidewalks are constructed on Pine Street instead. The issue will head to the next council of commissioners committee meeting on April 6.