Boise prepares "housing first" community

Posted at 5:13 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 19:13:10-04

Boise city officials are working on the growing problem of homelessness throughout the downtown area.

The City has a two-pronged approach to provide semi-temporary housing for homeless people. This week city council approved a million dollars to fund one of those programs.

The city wants to build a 25-unit apartment-style complex with the sole purpose of housing the homeless. Ideally, this central location will then be surrounded by medical, psychiatric, and social services to get people off the streets for good.

Compared to the current work city leaders say this housing first model is cheaper and more effective.

"We can provide a housing first solution for about the same number of people in our community at a third of the cost and have much better outcomes," said Boise spokesman Mike Journee.

Don't expect to see a groundbreaking on the building project anytime soon. There's still no location selected. City officials are hoping to get proposals through this fall with construction starting early next year.

The second part of the city's housing first program is already underway. They're getting units from landlords willing to participate that will house people right now. The city is still looking for more units, though, with a goal of getting fifteen to twenty overall.