Big Sky Roundup

Four Montana communities to receive $3.3M to renovate, build affordable housing

By: - January 3, 2023 11:01 am
A rendering of the plans for the Cooney Campus of Florence Crittenton Family Services.

A rendering of the plans for the Cooney Campus of Florence Crittenton Family Services. (Rendering courtesy of Florence Crittenton Family Services via Department of Commerce)

Four Montana communities will receive federal funding from the Montana Housing Division to preserve or build a total of 66 affordable homes for lower-income single mothers, seniors and families, the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday.

About $3.3 million total will be allocated to the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade; Bigfork Senior Housing in Bigfork; Meadowlark Senior Apartments in Butte; and Florence Crittenton Family Services, the department said.

The funding comes from federal Housing Trust Fund and Home Investment Partnerships Program funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the state’s housing division. The breakdown each organization will receive is as follows:

  • $668,000 in HOME funding to rehabilitate eight homes for families and individuals at the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade
  • $650,000 in HTF funding to rehabilitate 24 homes for seniors at Bigfork Senior Housing in Bigfork
  • $750,000 in HOME funding to build 26 new homes for seniors at Meadowlark Senior Apartments in Butte
  • $1,278,032 in HOME funding to refurbish eight homes for younger single mothers on the Cooney Campus of Florence Crittenton Family Services in Helena

HTF and HOME blocks are used to build and preserve affordable housing for lower-wage households, including people who are unhoused or at risk of becoming so, and people with special needs.

“With a housing supply shortage and inflation at a generational high, Montanans are having a harder time finding an affordable home,” said Montana Housing Division Administrator Cheryl Cohen. “That’s why it’s vital that we continue to support developers who build quality, affordable, sustainable, safe housing for the folks who live and work in Montana.”

Florence Crittenton Family Services said in a news release it would use the $1.28 million to renovate two wings on the top floor of the Cooney Campus the organization bought a year ago, which will become an eight-unit Women and Children’s Recovery Home supporting women ages 18-35 who have children ages 0-5.

“We are thrilled to receive this transformational grant from the Department of Commerce,” said Florence Crittenton Executive Director Carrie Krepps in a statement. “Not only does it push us forward to our goal of renovating our campus, but it is the state’s recognition of the importance of supporting these families facing substance use challenges and the investment in a brighter future for all Montanans.”

The organization plans to sell its current facility at 901 N. Harris but plans to use that facility until renovations on the Cooney Campus are finished.

The renovations done at the Firetower Apartments in Helena in 2020 and 2021, which benefitted 44 seniors and people with disabilities, also stemmed from HTF funding.

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Blair Miller
Blair Miller

Blair Miller is a reporter based in Helena who primarily covers government, climate and courts. He's been a journalist for more than 12 years, previously based in Denver, Albuquerque and mid-Missouri.