Housing First initiative gets funding

The project would be built on Fairview Avenue.

BOISE - The city of Boise's Housing First initiative is starting to become a reality. This after the city announced they've raised enough funds to lay the foundation for a single-site permanent housing facility. The city launched their Housing First model back in February.

The city is hoping to build a 40-unit one- and two-bedroom housing facility along Fairview Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets. The facility would not only provide housing for those homeless in our community, but health and treatment services too.

"We've got a project that's been approved now from a funding standpoint," Boise spokesman Mike Journee said.

The proposed $7.3 million housing facility would including housing units along with office and meeting space.

"Creating permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable citizens is what this is all about. Creating those opportunities for them to get in stable housing and begin working on the root causes of their homelessness," Journee said.

The Housing First program also provides wrap-around services to help those who are homeless with any healthcare, case management, substance abuse treatment and financial counseling. 

Those supportive services will be funded through $250,000 from Ada County, $100,000 from St. Luke's, $100,000 from Saint Alphonsus, $25,000 from the United Way, and $25,000 from Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation.

The New Path Community Housing Development is funded with $5.83 million of low-income tax credits by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), $500,000 in grant money by the IHFA, plus $1 million from the city of Boise.

"Seeing all of this come together puts us in a great place to be able to go forward and be able to build this housing," IHFA President Gerald Hunter said.

Rick Bollman, an operations manager at the Corpus Christi House, says this housing complex will have a major impact on the homeless population in our community.

"It's a light out there that says the city is going in the right direction as opposed to not doing anything at all," Bollman said. "The supportive housing model is exactly what a lot of these people need."

This housing model won't provide shelter for all those homeless. Research done by Boise State University shows that there's roughly 100 chronically homeless in our community, but Journee says this is a start in the right direction.

"This is a first step. We're excited that this kind of an effort will, the concept will be proven and we'll be able to create more opportunities down the road," Journee said.

Journee added this housing complex is still early in its stages. It still has to pass planning and zoning, permits, as well as the public comment period. Journee says if it passes those hurdles, the hope is they would start construction in the spring.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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