Montana Board of Housing narrows list of projects for federal affordable housing tax credit


    An open, surrounded by new construction and new homes, in the Ironwood subdivision of Billings. (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan)

    The Montana Board of Housing this week chose eight affordable rental properties across the state to apply for federal affordable housing tax credits available in 2022 totaling almost $29 million, it said in a news release Wednesday.

    The board received preliminary applications from 14 low-income senior and multifamily housing project developers interested in receiving a portion of Montana’s share of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which subsidizes the creation and acquisition of affordable housing. The eight it chose are: Carter Commons and the Baatz Apartments in Great Falls, Junegrass Place in Kalispell, Riverview Apartments in Big Sky, the Bicentennial Apartments in Dillon, Hardin Senior Housing, Cabinet Affordable Housing in Libby and the Tapestry Apartments in Billings.

    The Board of Housing will meet again in October to decide which among the eight projects will receive the federal funds. A spokesman for the Department of Commerce, the agency overseeing the board, said the state has enough credits to help fund around half of those eight projects in time for a spring 2022 groundbreaking.

    “Access to affordable homes are vital for our communities to strengthen and grow,” said Montana Housing Executive Director Cheryl Cohen in a written statement. “It is crucial that we continue to support our housing partners, so they can build quality, safe and affordable homes for individuals and families across the state.”

    The Board says that LIHTC helps pay for around 220 units of affordable housing a year. In order to be eligible for LIHTC funding, at least 20 percent of a rental property’s units must be occupied by tenants who make 50% or less of the area median income, among other possible income thresholds. Eligible properties must also ensure that the rents they charge do not exceed either 50% or 60% of the area median income, depending on the project.