Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hailey senior housing gets P&Z nod

ARCH Housing Trust aims to bring affordable rentals to River Street

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission approved on Monday plans for a 22-unit senior housing project on River Street. The three-story building is designed to provide rental housing for residents ages 55 and older, if the project meets with approval at the City Council level. Courtesy photo

The ARCH Community Housing Trust, in partnership with the city of Hailey, will likely move forward with plans to build a 22-unit senior housing project on River Street.

The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission approved design plans for a three-story senior housing apartment building at 731 North River St. Monday night on city-owned property.

The city agreed last year to lease the land for 99 years to ARCH for the project, charging the nonprofit organization a mere $1 per year.

"This is great news for Blaine County," said ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith. "The senior population is the fastest growing segment of the population. The need exists now and the need will increase in the future."

Griffith said the city's virtually free land donation made financing for the project possible, allowing ARCH to secure $515,000 from the Housing and Urban Development's HOME program, and $592,000 in federal tax credit funding each year for 10 years.

The tax credits, valued at $5.9 million, will be sold by ARCH to eligible corporations to fund the project, if it is approved by the City Council.

The property on River Street, valued a few years ago at $1.9 million, was deeded to the city by Sweetwater Community, a large housing development in Woodside, in lieu of on-site affordable housing units.

The senior housing rental units would be available to Blaine County residents ages 55 and older. Rental rates would range from $525-$670 for one-bedroom apartment units, and $625-$700 for two-bedroom units, based on income.

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Griffith said the building will contain an exercise room, and library and computer room. She noted that ARCH has been working with the Senior Connection in Hailey to develop group activities and establish programs at the housing project to accommodate seniors.

Griffith said the Summit Apartments in west Hailey are an option right now for senior rental housing, but that there is a waiting list for units.

"We are getting interest in this new project from people who are looking for housing for their parents and parents-in-law," said Griffith.

For more information, contact the ARCH Community Housing Trust at (208) 726-4411.

Tony Evans

Rental units

According to ARCH, the rental units will have all standard appliances and fixtures (refrigerator, range, dishwasher, microwave, disposal) and will include washer/dryer hookups. All appliances will be Energy Star rated. Each unit will have storage space and a private patio area. All units will have high-speed Internet capabilities and access to cable/satellite television. Each unit will have an assigned parking space in the first-floor garage of the building.

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