Apartment project fully funded

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The Whitefish Housing Authority and Homeword, Inc. are planning to develop an affordable housing apartment complex on Edgewood Place. This preliminary architectural rendering, by Jackola Engineering and Architecture, gives the concept for the project but is not final in shapes, forms, textures and colors.

An affordable housing project in Whitefish is set to break ground this summer following the award of a grant that secures the final funding needed for the project.

The 38-unit apartment complex called Alpenglow Apartments is planned to be constructed on Edgewood Place. The nonprofit Homeword Inc., along with the Whitefish Housing Authority, is developing the project, which received city approval last month.

“This is our last major piece of funding,” said Heather McMilin with Homeword. “Once the tax credits were awarded in November, we felt comfortable enough to work with the architect, Jackola, to prepare full design documents so the project could progress. This grant award allows us to continue to move forward with the project in full confidence.”

The Montana Department of Commerce last week announced a $862,307 grant from the state’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program for the project. Only three Montana communities received grants through the program, which is the largest federal block grant designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

“We are grateful to the Montana Department of Commerce and excited to have the last major source of project funding secured,” McMilin said. “This grant source is limited and competitive and we’re relieved to know this essential gap funding is secured for the project to move forward.”

Homeword in November was awarded a low income housing tax credit from the state Board of Housing for $6.7 million to develop a rental housing project for residents with an area median income of 60 percent or less. The housing authority is developing the $8.2 million project with Homeword, which has developed a number of affordable housing project around the state.

McMilin said the hope is to break ground on Alpenglow Apartments in July and if all goes well completion is expected in winter 2020.

“We would like to reiterate again our gratitude for the commitment and support of the city of Whitefish and the community of Whitefish overall for this project,” she said. “The Whitefish Housing Authority has been an amazing partner. Together we look forward to the day we can open the doors to 38 safe and healthy new homes that the residents of Whitefish can afford.”

The property on Edgewood Place just off Wisconsin Avenue was once a mobile home park, but is now largely vacant except for a few accessory buildings.

Those involved with the project have said the goal is to create a housing complex that would include affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Rent on the housing units is expected to be between $400 and $890.

The plan calls for constructing three buildings on 2.15 acres to house the apartments. Open space areas are located throughout the development and a small playground is planned. In addition, a community room is planned.

Montana’s allocation of HOME funds is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Montana Department of Commerce grants these funds to help local governments respond to the need for adequate, affordable housing for qualified individuals, families and seniors, according to a release.

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