Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Commerce Director Tara Rice joined residents and community leaders Friday at a groundbreaking event to celebrate the future of Red Alder Residences, 85 new affordable homes for families and individuals in Helena.
"We know that our communities thrive when their workers can afford to live and raise their families close to good-paying jobs," said Lt. Gov. Cooney. "That’s why it is so important we recognize and celebrate Red Alder Residences, a place that will provide Helena residents an affordable home for many years to come."
Red Alder Residences will provide affordable rent for at least 46 years to individuals earning 60 percent or less of Area Median Income. In Helena, 60 percent of AMI is $40,140 for a two-person household.
The new homes will be located at 2200 Henderson Street, conveniently near grocery stores, pharmacies, schools and a trail system that connects to Carroll College and Centennial Park. While offering well-constructed affordable homes, Red Alder will have other amenities including a community garden, a play area for children and a community room for tenants. Additionally, Red Alder will be a new stop for the library Bookmobile and forthcoming plans include adding a summer food program for children, Head Start parent education and nutrition classes.
Helena’s Rocky Mountain Development Council and GL Development put the estimated $19 million deal together, primarily using more than $7.7 million of competitive federal Housing Credits allocated by Commerce’s Montana Board of Housing, $3 million in noncompetitive Housing Credits, and $2.7 million from Commerce’s HOME Investment Partnerships and Housing Trust Fund programs.
"At Commerce, we are proud to work with our housing partners across Montana to provide safe, accessible and affordable homes. As a result of building homes Montanans can afford, our vibrant communities can grow and provide more opportunities for the folks who live there," said Commerce Director Tara Rice.
According to a 2018 market study, Helena has a very low vacancy rate and needs nearly 250 affordable rental homes. The construction of Red Alder Residences will fill approximately one-third of that need.