To close out 2017, the Missoula Housing Authority completed the purchase of the Wildflower Apartments at Russell and 34th Streets in order to retain them as affordable low income housing.

Executive Director Lori Davidson said the apartments went up for sale several months ago, and she saw the importance of keeping the property as affordable as possible.

“One of the dangers that we saw was that we would lose it as part of our affordable housing inventory,” Davidson said. “If a market-rate developer bought the property they would have the right to raise the rents up to the full market rates and not to continue to be affordable property.”

Davidson said the purchase price for the 96-unit apartment complex was $8.2 million.

“We put in the highest bid that we could possibly make and we were the successful bidder,” she said. “We arranged financing through First Interstate Bank and used some of the Housing Authority’s own funds and then we also have a bridge loan through First Intestate for the remainder of the balance not covered by the down payment.”

Davidson said rents at the Wildflower Apartments are determined by the State of Montana.

“The rents are based on a percentage of area median income,” she continued. “At this property, all of the units are 60 percent of area median income, so we can house people with incomes from $28,000 or less for one person up to $50,000 depending upon the size of their family. The 2 and 3-bedroom options allow us to target families, a population who often have a hard time acquiring housing. It’s important to build more affordable housing, but it’s essential to protect the affordable housing that we already have.”

Davidson said all the units are rented, and there is a lengthy waiting list. For information, contact the Missoula Housing Authority by clicking here.