Missoula County Commissioners Dave Strohmaier and Juanita Vero joined community partners Thursday afternoon to break ground on the Trinity Apartment Homes and Navigation Center Mullan site.
The Trinity Project is a collaboration between Homeword, the Missoula Housing Authority and BlueLine Development. This 202-home project was envisioned in 2019, in response to widespread community need for homes all people can afford. The homes will be located on two sites in Missoula, one on Mullan Road and the other on Cooley Street.
“Wow, that I get to stand here today, and earth has actually been moved and we get to have folks move in, in a couple of years just means so much,” Commissioner Vero said. “Because we all know that this community is stronger when folks don’t have to spend more than 30% of their income on finding and staying in safe, healthy homes.”
Missoula County contributed the land for the Mullan site, which is located at the corner of Broadway and Mullan Road near the Missoula County Detention Facility. It will provide low-threshold homes that people can afford, which means people will be accepted as they are and be provided a safe, supportive environment. The Mullan site will have a total of 130 homes, 30 of which will be supportive housing targeted for Missoula’s long-term unhoused neighbors. The remaining 100 homes will be for individuals and families living below 70% of the area median income, which is below $41,000 a year for a family of two.
The Mullan Road project will also include an on-site navigation center that provides intensive supportive services. Navigation centers are a best practice in serving people living unsheltered or in encampments. These centers are a proven way to get people off the street and on a pathway to a safe, healthy home and stability. It’s a critical component of Missoula’s Homelessness Crisis Response System.
Seventy-two homes will be located on the Cooley Street block that was previously Skyview Trailer Park. Homeword has already secured that land. The Cooley site is zoned appropriately for the apartments that will be built for families and Missoula’s workforce.
No local tax dollars are used to fund the construction of the project. This project will be a tax-exempt bond-financed deal, using 4% low-income housing tax credits. The City of Missoula operates as a pass-through entity for the tax credits and bonds, so developers can borrow less money during construction. Savings are passed on to individuals and families as lower rents. The city’s Office of Housing and Community Development also allocated $806,000 from the federal HOME investment partnerships program to fund the project.
Additional information about the project is available on the websites listed below.