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LIV STORIES

City of Boise Works With Partners to Create Homeless Veteran Housing

The City of Boise is part of a coalition of partners working on a major new initiative to build between 25-30 units of permanent supportive housing for Idaho veterans and their families experiencing chronic homelessness.

In response to a $3.5 million veterans-specific tax credit set-aside from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, the Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center and the City of Boise are encouraging an effort for veterans experiencing homelessness in Ada County.

The Boise City Council recently authorized the inclusion of $250,000 from city funds for the project to go along with $250,000 set aside from HOME Investment Partnership funds from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department.

“Veterans, unfortunately, represent a disproportionate number of the chronically homeless in our community and across the country,” said Boise Mayor David Bieter. “This partnership will help us address their challenges directly by giving them a home and the services they need to work on the root causes of their homelessness.”

Of the 833 persons experiencing homelessness in Ada County during the 2017 Point in Time Count, 124 are veterans – about 14 percent. That’s higher than the estimated 11 percent of veterans who make up the homeless population nationally.

The project cost is estimated to be between $4.7 million and $6.8 million, including land acquisition, design and construction. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association has set aside approximately $3.5 million in low income housing tax credits in a statewide set-aside.  In addition to the $500,000 total commitment from the City of Boise, city staff will also work with the Home Partnership Foundation to identify the remaining $1 million from philanthropic donors. People interested in helping with a donation can do so on IHFA’s website.

“IHFA recognizes the need for permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and is happy to create an opportunity that will allow developers and communities to pursue additional housing for homeless veterans,” said Gerald Hunter, president of IHFA.

Resident services – such as health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment – will be provided by the Boise VA Medical Center.

The Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority will also provide ongoing funding through the HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program, which combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“No one agency can truly solve the challenge of bringing housing and supportive services to our Veterans contending with the plight of homelessness,” said Deanna Watson, executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority. “Through innovation and collaboration, we can come together as a caring community to provide housing and hope for those who have put their lives on the line for us.”

Moving forward, a request for proposals from developers will be issued with applications due in August. If things move ahead according to plan, the developer will be selected by October. In the meantime, property will be located and purchased.

Groundbreaking is estimated by September 2019 with an opening date of September 2020.

To donate or for more information, please contact the City of Boise or visit this website.

 


Published: March 08, 2018