Boise City and Housing Round table members break ground on Housing First apartment building

Posted at 10:27 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 12:29:34-04

A new era is about to get underway for Boise's homeless population.
    Construction is starting on a 41 unit building to help transition the chronically homeless off the streets.
    But the city still has a long way to go before any impact may be realized.
On the type of day that makes it especially miserable to be homeless, the City of Boise and it's partners raised their shovels to a better future.

"We need an old fashioned barn raising because no one in government or public life can take this issue on by ourselves,"  says Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

In the next few weeks, construction will begin on this 41 unit New Path Community Housing Project. Located at 2200 Fairview Avenue, it is designed to get the chronically homeless off the streets.

"Once we give people housing we see interactions with emergency medicine and the criminal justice system drop quite a bit," points out Vanessa Fry, assistant director for the Idaho Policy Institute.
And Gerald Hunter, executive director of Idaho Housing and Finance adds, 
"The exciting thing is it's proven to be a lot less expensive than other types of approaches to homelessness." 

Boise State research shows 40 homeless people in Ada County cost the area about 2.1 million dollars a year. This facility could surround those same people with housing and support services that cost less.     In the past year or so since the project was announced, organizers were pleased to see multiple community groups coming together.

"A lot of people are willing to support this than initially thought and it's important to engage all stakeholders in the process," says Fry.

They hope to have the building finished sometime next summer. 
The City of Boise is putting one million dollars into the development.
    And the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority will provide four point five million dollars in housing vouchers over the first 15 years to help cover rent and utility costs.