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Boise mayor says more affordable housing in the works

The city has been working on a housing needs analysis and plans to reveal details of the plan Tuesday morning.

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise is still working to come up with new ways to provide affordable housing to residents struggling with high rents and surging home prices in the capital city.

Boise’s Housing and Community Development Senior Manager Maureen Brewer said they’ve been working on a housing needs analysis and those findings will be presented to the mayor and city council during a strategic planning session scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 9 a.m. The meeting is open to the public.

“We are at an unprecedented moment in time,” Brewer said during a virtual meeting with local reporters Monday morning.

Mayor Lauren McLean says some projects that have been in the works are moving along. Last month, the city announced it had selected the Pacific Companies to build multi-family housing project on nearly one-acre of land at State and Arthur streets in Boise, near Taft Elementary. That decision came after a request for proposals went out to developers. The city got four responses, but one stood out.

“We looked at how we could meaningfully connect this new neighborhood that will provide houses at different price points, with the school, with the existing neighborhood, to provide safe communities and through points for kids that will live in this community,” McLean said.

Pacific Companies also took advantage of the Housing Bonus Ordinance to offer the highest number of housing units. The next step will be the development review process.

Another housing project that people have been inquiring about since it was announced two years ago is one on the Central Bench at Franklin Road and Orchard Street, located next to Franklin Park. McLean says a groundbreaking is expected to take place very soon. It is a mixed-income housing project that includes units for those seeking housing through the Our Path Home Partnership.

"So families that are just out of homelessness or have truly struggled in looking for a home, we're dedicating units within this neighborhood at Franklin and Orchard to meet that pressing community need for families out there," McLean said.

McLean said the city is still working to provide incentives for developers to build affordable housing. She added they are will to try new ideas to bring more housing online.

Again, there will be a strategic planning session at Boise City Hall Tuesday. The meeting is open to the public and held in a hybrid format that allows for virtual and in-person attendance.

You can watch the meeting on the City of Boise's Public Meetings YouTube channel.

Due to COVID-19 health protocols and group gathering limits, the capacity in City Council Chambers at City Hall is extremely limited. People are urged to participate virtually if possible to ensure that in-person space is available to those without access to technology.

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