Come May, Butte Affordable Housing is expected to break ground on a 64-unit housing complex along Continental Drive which the nonprofit hopes will put more roofs over the heads of low-income families.
In November, the Montana Board of Housing awarded the nonprofit — which works in conjunction with the Public Housing Authority of Butte — $5.2 million in federal housing credits to help fund the project.
In all, the Montana housing board awarded $27.6 million in tax credits to affordable-housing projects across the state.
“These housing credits will create more affordable and accessible homes for Montana families, seniors, and people with disabilities,” said Montana Department of Commerce director Pam Haxby-Cote in a news release announcing the award.
Revonda Stordahl, executive director of Butte’s housing authority, said this is the third time that Butte Affordable Housing has applied for the tax credit. This year the nonprofit finally got the thumbs-up from the state housing board, which will usher in the new complex. Butte Affordable Housing has also applied for a Home Investment Partnership Program grant from the Montana Department of Commerce to help fund the new project.
Slated to be called the Copper Ridge Apartments, the project will consist of eight buildings that contain eight apartments each along with a playground area and communal space, Stordahl told The Montana Standard Thursday.
The apartments will be located just off Continental Drive, behind the Meadowlands Apartments, another affordable-housing complex that the Butte nonprofit manages.
Stordahl said she doesn’t know what the income requirements for the apartment complex will be as the rates to qualify for low-income status tend to fluctuate, but according to the housing authority’s website, households that earn less than 80 percent of Butte’s median income are considered low income and those earning less than 50 percent of the median income are considered very low income. For a household of four, that’s an annual income of $48,400 and $30,250, respectively.
Stordahl said the idea for Copper Ridge Apartments came out of a need for more affordable housing in Butte.
In addition to managing the Meadowlands complex, Butte Affordable Housing is the developer and manager of the Mountain View Apartments on Ohio Street and the manager and co-owner of the Aspen Place Apartments on Continental Drive, all three of which Stordahl said have a waiting list.
“What we see is that there truly is a lack of affordable housing in Butte,” said Stordahl, noting that the vacancy rate in Butte is less than one percent.
“And often times, especially,” Stordahl continued. “Section 8 tenants have trouble finding units that are in good condition and that would pass inspection, so this would just provide a source of housing that would be safe and decent and affordable.”