LEAP Housing brings more affordable housing to the Treasure Valley

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Posted at 2:34 AM, Apr 06, 2022

BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man found his life upended when the pandemic hit.

"COVID really was a hard reset for me," Peter Manning said.

Like it did for many people, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic left Manning unemployed. Since then he's also found himself separated from a long-term relationship and in need of somewhere new to live.

Related: Organizations provide resources for renters, but they only go so far

While trying to get out of the rental market and back into home ownership, Manning found LEAP Housing and Caritas Commons. This is LEAP Housing's new affordable housing community. It's actually so new, Leap Ave. doesn't show up on Google Maps.

Peter was the first to move into his new home at Caritas Commons, but with LEAP Housing's plans to expand the current community and add other similar communities, he won't be the last.

"Our organization is rallying around creating 1000 housing opportunities by 2026," Bart Cochran, the Executive Director and Founder of LEAP Housing, said. "We're thinking about funding, we're thinking about land access and we're thinking about how do we build and develop housing as rapidly as possible to be able to deliver to this target audience of households all the way up to 80% of area median income"

Area Median Income is a metric used to determine eligibility for many affordable housing programs.

In Ada county, 80% of Area Median Income is about $42,000 a year for a one-person household.

Related: Resources for people experiencing homelessness in Treasure Valley, how close they are to capacity

LEAP housing started focusing on creating affordable housing in 2016. Now, they have six different affordable housing programs.

"We provide everything from what we call the next step which is short-term immediate, transitional housing all the way up to long-term permanent homeownership and then we have a few programs in between," Cochran said.

These programs include rental housing and homes for sale that are part of the LEAP Housing Trust.

This is a community land trust where residents own their homes, but LEAP owns the land, allowing the organization to ensure affordability if the current owner sells their home.

Related: CATCH gets creative to keep up with demand for resources

LEAP says they're trying to fill a need not met by other housing resources, something Manning says he's extremely grateful for.

"Being in a rental situation just creates a degree of uncertainty that being a homeowner--it doesn't create the security that being a homeowner can bring" he said.

You can find more information about LEAP Housing by clicking here.