HELENA – The City of Helena is celebrating being awarded the Montana Board of Housing’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. They will be using it to purchase and preserve the affordable units within the Fire Tower Apartments.
The grant is a little over $6 million. This proposal, submitted by Wishcamper Development Partners, is one of 16 projects that applied for 2020 tax credit allocations, and is one of only six projects to be awarded an allocation.
The Helena City Commission supported the project through the process, providing several letters of support and critical testimony to the board of housing. The city says this will help improve the quality of life of the tenants and directly address one of the key issues in the 2018 Downtown Helena Urban Renewal Plan.
“There's certainly improvements that need to be made with that property,” says Sharon Haugen, the Community Development Director. “This will help pay for those needed improvements. We know that those will continue to be a safe and affordable place to live.”
The city says this program supports and encourages developers to build or rehabilitate affordable residential apartments in communities in need of affordable housing options. The Fire Tower Apartments is a 44-unit complex built in 1978 that primarily serves elderly, disabled, and family populations.
The city says the complex is in a prime location downtown and has extensive rehabilitation needs such as improved infrastructure, failing systems, crumbling exterior, and decaying interiors.