Creating affordable housing through 'pocket communities'

One of the communities is in Garden City.

GARDEN CITY - As the population in the Treasure Valley continues to grow, so does the need for affordable housing.

A local nonprofit is taking a new approach to solving the housing crisis by developing "pocket communities."

NeighborWorks is building five of these neighborhoods in Garden City.

The development located on 43rd and Adams streets is less than three quarters of an acre but fits nine homes!

"My goal is that you drive by and you not even think about affordable housing, you wouldn't be able to tell what's affordable and what's not," says Bud Compher, CEO of NeighborWorks.

Compher aims to do that by building courtyards and spacious patios on the outside and installing stainless steel appliances on the inside and carefully utilizing space.

"This is one of our cottages, it’s a two-bedroom two-bath, so it has a master upstairs and downstairs," Compher points out.

Each home ranges from just over 600 square feet to a little more than 2,000 square feet.

"Our price ranges from $165,000 upwards to $320,000, so it just depends on the size of the home, the area, so it really is a selection of what is best to the buyer," says Compher.

To keep prices low for both the buyer and developer, NeighborWorks partners with several financial institutions.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association assists buyers with down payments, and Wells Fargo lessens development costs through housing trust funds.

"A pocket neighborhood fits really well with the philosophy Garden City is looking at and how they want to develop their urban area, and were excited to be part of that," says Compher.

Compher says Garden City Council has broken down many of the barriers developers often run into when trying to build affordable housing.

"They have thought ahead and done some district areas that zoning allows us to do a smaller footprint home, a little tighter," explains Compher.

This pocket community is just one of five in Garden City that's giving the area a new urban look.

"I feel like it should be the same quality as any other home that's out on the market, so that is what we really strive to do, an affordable house doesn't look any different than any other home," says Compher.

For more information about pocket neighborhoods, click here.
 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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