City of Boise eyes solutions to end homelessness

Posted at 12:55 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 19:12:19-05

The City of Boise has announced two initiatives that could provide up to 40 new units of supportive housing for the homeless.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Boise Mayor David Bieter outlined how Housing First efforts could assist the homeless by not only giving people a roof over their head, but also providing “wrap around” services which would include mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and financial counseling.

“Getting people off of the streets and out of the shelters while giving them the opportunity to address the root causes of their homelessness – that’s what these projects represent,” said Boise Mayor David Bieter.  “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way these community partners are stepping up to address this challenging need for our most vulnerable residents.”

The ‘single site’ Housing First initiative would result in the construction of 25 housing units between the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and the City of Boise.

The IHFA has up to $5.75 million in Low Income Housing Tax credits available and the City of Boise would contribute up to $1 million to “augment acquisition and construction costs for the winning proposal.”

“We are delighted to partner with the City of Boise and other potential donors to help bring needed housing for chronically homeless individuals in the community,” said Gerald Hunter, president and executive director of IHFA.

An additional 15 units could debut as early as summer of 2016 after officials determine which existing apartments fit the criteria.

“We are pleased to help provide additional affordable housing and supportive services in an area of critical need,” said Deanna Watson, executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority.

Terry Reilly and CATCH Inc., has committed to providing services and the City of Boise is looking for funding commitments from interested community foundations, corporations and individuals to have the program fully going by summer.

“Terry Reilly is excited to be part of such a great initiative,” said Heidi Traylor, CEO of Terry Reilly Health Services. “We look forward to partnering with the City of Boise, Ada County Housing Authority, and CATCH to provide much needed services to our homeless community.”