Friday, December 07, 2012 3:20:52 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, December 07, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce Awards Nearly $2 Million in Funds for Projects in Lewis & Clark County
(HELENA) – The Helena community is poised for an infusion of more than $1.9 million in funding from the Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) for three different housing projects, targeting housing for the disabled, transitional living and both lower and market priced housing.
“The Montana Department of Commerce is proud to partner with the city, the county and these worthwhile organizations to move these important projects forward,” said Dore Schwinden, MDOC Director. “This type of investment is truly beneficial for the citizens who are directly impacted and the entire community as a whole.”
MDOC awarded a total of $703,044 in funds to the City of Helena for the construction of a WestMont 6-bed group home for adults with significant development and physical disabilities. The Montana Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program provided $253,044 in funds. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program awarded $450,000.
The project will create 20 new jobs in the community. WestMont provides vocational services and housing for developmentally disabled adults. This additional housing will serve disabled adults with fluctuating medical needs who might otherwise be admitted to a nursing home for care. The design is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible for wheel chairs and other mobility devices. Because this facility will be in close proximity to another WestMont home, it will allow interaction for social and recreational events, shared transportation, and a connected landscaped “green space” for outdoor activities.
MDOC awarded Lewis & Clark County a total of $1.2 million in funds to rehabilitate the historic YWCA building. The project will improve living conditions in a 25-unit transitional housing program serving homeless women and children. The HOME program provided $750,000 in funds and the CDBG program provided $450,000.
The YWCA of Helena building was constructed in 1918 and has been housing residents since January 1919. The grant will allow several significant changes to make the building accessible, to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to its residents and will maintain its historic character. The rehabilitation will include: installation of two zero-step entries and a 4-stop elevator to make the building accessible, installation of a fire suppression sprinkler system to improve resident safety, completion of a commercial-grade kitchen, reconfiguration and modernization of bathrooms and refurbishment of windows to improve energy efficiency. The YWCA is critical resource that serves a portion of Lewis and Clark County’s most vulnerable population.
MDOC awarded Rocky Mountain Development Council (RMDC) $30,000 for a Preliminary Architecture Report (PAR) for the Serendipity Apartments located in downtown Helena. The CDBG Planning Grant will be used to evaluate and provide recommendations regarding improvements to the sites, including architectural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical work.
The Serendipity Apartments, built in 1976, consist of two buildings totaling 44 rental units. Of the 44 units, the 24-unit building contains project based Section 8 units, while the 20-unit building is designated a “market rate” building. The present owner, Serendipity Limited, LP, is interested in selling the properties, but has not formally listed them for sale. The present owner has discussed the possibility of RMDC acquiring, renovating and preserving the Serendipity Apartments. The PAR will provide RMDC with accurate information regarding the current condition of the structures and costs associated with potential improvements and maintenance.
The HOME Investment Partnerships program is a federal block grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides states and localities with a flexible funding source to meet their diverse affordable housing needs. MDOC is responsible for the administration of the HOME program within the state of Montana. MDOC provides HOME funds to participating jurisdictions, such as community housing development organizations (CHDOs), public housing authorities (PHAs), and units of local government (counties and incorporated cities and towns) throughout the state.
For more information on the HOME program, visit http://housing.mt.gov/hm/default.mcpx
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a federally funded grant program designed to help communities with their greatest community development needs. All projects must be designed to principally benefit low and moderate-income families. The program is funded nationally by HUD and administered state-wide by the MDOC. Eligible applicants are limited to local governments, i.e. counties, incorporated cities and towns, and consolidated city-county governments. Local governments must apply on behalf of other organizations. For more information on the CDBG Program, visit http://comdev.mt.gov/cdbg/default.mcpx