Helena project looks to help those in need of affordable housing

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 13:24:25-04

HELENA — The Rocky Mountain Development Council (RMDC) is hoping heir Red Alder Residences will help as high rent and COVID-19 fallout continue to put a squeeze on housing budgets across the state

“You can’t shelter in place if you have no shelter to go to,” said RMDC affordable housing program director Liz Mogstad.

The new neighborhood on Helena’s west side is aimed at helping those with a broad range of income, like those in entry-level jobs who make too much to qualify for much assistance, but too little to afford adequate housing.

“We really felt there is something missing and there is a whole section of our community that still needs some help with their rent, but can’t qualify for your traditional Section 8 or housing choice voucher programs,” Mogstad said.

Applications are available starting July 15 and can be found on the Rocky Mountain Development website or in person, via a drive-through set-up, at the Neighborhood Center in Helena. Following a vetting process, Liz says they hope to start moving in residents by the end of October. And that timeline is still in their sights, even with the pandemic shutting down a lot of the country.

“It just sort of slowed things a little bit. We’re feeling it a little bit right now on the production end of things, waiting for cabinets to come in and they are a little delayed," added Mogstad. "But overall, right now we’re still hoping to hit our deadlines of the end of October.”

The construction looks like it is moving along pretty quickly, but it is still a work in progress. But when the work is completed, the area will serve as a much-needed home for many deserving families.

"Home is where jobs go to rest," said Mogstad. "Home is incredibly important for people and I think we’ve learned that now more than ever. If you don’t have a safe place to go at night in the pandemic, or at all in Montana, and in the cold winters, it’s just helping fill that need. There is a lot of people out there that are living in, either on the streets or in sub-standard conditions. So if this helps our community, I think it makes it stronger.”

Tenants will be responsible for their own electricity but snow removal and lawn care are taken care of. One pet under 30 pounds will be allowed per residence.

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