Why Boise Helped Pay For New Low-Income Senior Housing

May 13, 2016

The City of Boise Thursday celebrated the opening of a new apartment complex for low-income seniors. It’s called the Vineyard at Eagle Promenade, though it’s actually in Boise just across the road from Eagle. The City of Boise helped pay for the 30-unit project along with several partners, including the Idaho Housing and Finance association and New Beginnings Housing which has other low-income housing in Nampa, Caldwell and Hailey.

The city has identified creating low-income housing as a major priority. A housing needs assessment the city commissioned last year showed that there is a more than 8,000 unit deficit in housing for very low-income and extremely low-income Boise residents. An individual making $21,000 a year or a family of four making $30,000 or less is considered very low-income.

While the apartments in this new development could be seen as a drop in the bucket, Boise’s community partnerships director Dianna Lachiondo says when she visited, she saw it as a positive step.

“I had the opportunity to meet a nice woman. She showed me around her apartment. It’s very real for her,” Lachiondo says. “But I also see it as something to build off of. In truth, there’s a lot of need out there.”

According to that housing needs assessment 7,785 low-income seniors live in Boise but there are fewer than 300 housing units specifically designated for them.

Lachiondo says while creating low-income housing is a priority for the city, they’re not focusing specifically on seniors. However, New Beginnings Housing is focused on seniors and Lachiondo says this was New Beginnings’ project.

“We had the opportunity to be part of it and we jumped at it,” Lachiondo says. “The more of these efforts that we get under our belt, the more likely we are to be able to do it again.”

Lachiondo says without multiple organizations pooling resources it’s impossible to build housing that very low-income people can afford. She says Boise’s low-income housing strategy relies heavily on creating these partnerships.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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