The Montana Board of Housing has chosen Missoula’s Creekside Apartments as one of eight projects that will compete to receive part of over $29 million in funding to provide affordable rental properties.

KGVO News spoke to Montana’s Housing Division Administrator Cheryl Cohen on Friday for details about the competition to receive Federal Housing credits.

“Earlier this week, the Montana Board of Housing directors heard presentations from developers who are seeking to apply to receive federal low income housing tax credits,” began Cohen. “This is a competitive credit that can help fund the construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental homes, and then those homes become affordable with income and rent restrictions for 50 years, so this is a really great program to provide long term affordability.”

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Cohen described the Creekside Apartments complex and some of the complications with the project.

“The board did select a project called Creekside Apartments in Missoula,” she said. “Homeword Incorporated is the sponsor developer, and this is an acquisition rehab project to preserve 40 units of family housing that currently exists in Missoula. However, the Creekside Apartments are in need of some repairs in order to have longevity into the future. It’s a really a great project and we're excited that they'll be able to submit a full application.”

Cohen said the final decision will be made by the Board of Housing this fall.

“We'll have a meeting in October where the board will have to further whittle down this group of really great projects to maybe four or five projects,” she said. “We’re routinely oversubscribed by  a rate of about three to one for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. It's really competitive, but this was a major step for the Missoula Creekside apartments project to get through this first cut, and we'll see how things go for them at the board meeting in October.”

The winning projects will still be facing the same supply chain and labor issues that the housing industry has been struggling with since the pandemic began.

“All of the developers we're working with are seeing the ongoing challenges with supply chain disruptions and with inflation and how that's impacting building costs and labor,” she said. “We did see, I think, at least one project where they had to scale back the number of units that they were proposing in order to keep within the price to keep the price affordable within our maximum award. We're only able to award a maximum of up to $6.5 million.”

The Board of Housing chose the properties after listening to presentations from housing developers and interested community members seeking the opportunity to submit their full applications for federal Housing Tax Credits, the nation’s largest source of funding to develop affordable homes.

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