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Nampa church donates land to nonprofit to build affordable home

The Lakeview Church of the Nazarene is the second Treasure Valley church to participate in LEAP Housing's "Yes In God's Backyard" initiative.

NAMPA, Idaho — The Lakeview Church of the Nazarene donated a 3,290 square-foot plot of land to affordable housing nonprofit, LEAP, where they will build an affordable single-family home.

The plot of land is across an alleyway from the rest of the church's property. The church was unsure how to use the land and decided LEAP's "Yes in God's Backyard" (YIMBY) initiative allowed the church to live their values, according to Rev. Nathan Roskam.

YIMBY is a play on words from the previously established "Not in my Backyard" - a common phrase to describe people who support low-income housing and resources for people experiencing homelessness, as long as these resources are outside of their immediate neighborhood.

"Our mission is to be disciples, to make disciples, and to love our neighbors," Rev. Roskam said. "This is a way we can respond, as Christ followers, to an actual need that's in our area."

It's a large need, according to LEAP. The nonprofit estimates the Treasure Valley is behind more than 8,000 affordable housing units. LEAP will build a home on the former Lakeview property and sell it to a family that earns 80% of the area median income (AMI). The City of Nampa defines 80% AMI as low-to-moderate income.

LEAP will retain ownership of the land, however. This ensures the property will be "dedicated affordable housing in perpetuity," according to LEAP.

"This is something that a lot of churches in our area can do," Rev. Roskam said.

The Collister United Methodist Church is the first to join YIMBY. LEAP built two affordable rental units on extra land just behind the church's parking lot.

The Collister units are available to families earning 30% AMI. The City of Boise defines 30% AMI as "extremely low income."

Two families will move into the Collister units Oct. 15, according to housing-first nonprofit CATCH.

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