Boise & Garden City

Boise Housing First project clears big money hurdle

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association has announced that the agency and its partners have secured the financing needed to build as many as 40 apartments for chronically homeless people, along with space for supportive services such as counseling and health care.

Most of the money for this $7.33-million project come from the federal government’s low-income housing tax credits. The Internal Revenue Service allocates these credits in 10-year chunks. They can then be sold on the open market for cash up front. In this case, the project’s developer, Boise Pacific NIHC Associates, should be able to obtain about $5.83 million in cash, IHFA President Gerald Hunter said Tuesday.

Another funding component is what’s known as HOME funds, allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This money is also designated for low-income housing. The IHFA received about $3 million of HOME funds from Housing and Urban Development this year, spokeswoman Katrina Thompson said. This year, it is dedicating $500,000 of that revenue to the Housing First project.

The city of Boise is putting $1 million from its own coffers into the project.

Hunter said groundbreaking on the project should occur in the spring, and he’s hoping it’s finished by late next year. Its expected location is a vacant parcel between Twin Dragon and Boise Car Upholstery on Fairview Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets.

Ada County, St. Luke’s Health System, St. Alphonsus Health System, the United Way of the Treasure Valley and the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation are contributing $500,000 to pay for counseling and treatment of the project’s tenants for the first year it’s in operation.

Forum on homelessness is Thursday

Mandy Chapman Semple, a nationally recognized expert on homelessness and supportive housing, will be the keynote speaker Thursday at a forum on homelessness in Boise.

The event is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Jordan Ballroom of Boise State University’s Student Union Building, located at 1700 University Drive.

Wyatt Schroeder of C.A.T.C.H. in Boise and Diana Lachiondo, the city of Boise’s director of community partnerships, will join Chapman Semple for the forum.

“Mandy is known nationally for building local partnerships across essential services, relying on data and technology to ensure individuals and families in need of help encounter a response system that provides stability that transforms their lives,” according to a news release from United Way of Treasure Valley.

Idaho Statesman reporter Sven Berg will moderate the forum.