City of Boise joins federal housing partnership

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Boise will soon be joining forces with over 100 communities and the federal government to address the Treasure Valley’s growing housing crisis.

On Tuesday, Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise officials and local nonprofit partners held a press conference with staff from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to announce that Boise is joining the federal House America program.

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This is a partnership between the federal government and local leaders, like cities, counties and tribal governments who have committed American Rescue Plan Act funds toward affordable housing. The goal is to use the COVID-19 relief funding toward planning 20,000 new affordable homes nationwide and rehousing 100,000 families in the homeless community by the end of the year.

Program adds federal support, networking

McLean announced last week the city plans to dedicate $12 million of its federal relief dollars to affordable housing construction, along with roughly $10 million in its own general fund money over the next several years. She told the press Tuesday this partnership will help Boise connect with cities nationwide making similar commitments on housing so they can swap policy ideas and lessons learned.

“We have the pipeline (of planned affordable housing projects) that is required and expected of us to join an initiative like this and now we will have the relationships, the technical expertise, and frankly, the support that will help us do even more with the resources we have and the commitment we have to a home for everyone in this city,” McLean said.

Margaret Salazar, HUD’s regional administrator for the Pacific Northwest, lauded Boise’s goal to build 250 new units of permanent supportive housing for people transitioning out of homelessness. These homes are subsidized to help low-income residents and also come with support from caseworkers and other social supports to help keep people housed.

“House America reflects the reality that it takes all of us from federal agencies to local community-based organizations and our private sector partners to address homelessness,” Salazar said at the press conference. “Housing is a right, not a privilege and we know permanent supportive housing and housing first are proven models to end homelessness, but housing first doesn’t mean housing only. It requires the longtime commitment from service providers.”

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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