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Housing and health: Saint Al’s partners with LEAP to help create more affordable housing in Boise

Paddles Up Poke

Saint Alphonsus Health System and LEAP Housing Solutions have partnered up to create a land trust.

LEAP, an affordable housing non-profit in Boise, will use to trust to sell brand new four-bedroom homes for $212,000 – a listing price well under market rate.

The Boise Regional Realtor’s April 2020 market report noted that the median cost of a new-construction home in Boise was more than $416,000.

Caritas Common

The new development, called Caritas Commons, is located on W. Shields Avenue in Boise.

Local company, indieDwell, will build 14 new homes using recycled steel cargo containers.

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[Mobile home residents successfully buy land from owners]

The first four homes are available for purchase to households earning 80% or less than area median income.

The first homeowners who purchase a home in Caritas Commons will be a part of a Shared Equity Model, also known as a Community Land Trust.

“The only thing better than creating affordable housing opportunities,” said Cochran, “is ensuring opportunities remain affordable forever.”

In this model, homeowners own their homes and the land is owned by the trust. This helps ensure below market rate prices, even when the original homeowner sells.

Construction on the first set of homes is expected to be completed by next January.

Caritas Commons Landscape Concept. Photo via LEAP Housing Solutions.

Saint Al’s Contribution

Saint Alphonsus Health System donated $240,000 to the LEAP Housing Trust.

“Saint Alphonsus was a lead donor in helping secure the first six homes at the $212,000 price point,” said Cochran.

A 2020 Saint Alphonsus Community Health Needs Assessment found that safe, affordable housing was the number one priority for residents and community partners.

“Affordable housing is directly related to health outcomes. As a trusted health partner for life, we are committed to caring about patient needs, including the need for a safe, affordable home,” said Jennifer Palagi, DNP, MPH, RN, Vice President, Community Health & Well-Being at Saint Alphonsus.

Mark Snider, Saint Al’s Media and Public Relations Coordinator, told BoiseDev that the award was pledged and donated before COVID-19 hit and early in the 2020 fiscal year.

Community funding

LEAP is now looking for additional community partners to help fund the land trust.

“An additional $320,000 to the LEAP Housing Trust will secure forever-affordability for all homes at Caritas Commons,” said Cochran.

LEAP also partnered with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association who awarded them CDFI funds.

Interested buyers can learn more and certify their income levels by visiting www.FinallyAffordable.org.

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