A $6 million affordable housing project in Ronan is set to become a reality later this year.
Monday, Lake County Community Housing and Ronan Housing Authority received a $450,000 Montana Department of Commerce grant, the last piece of funding it needs to build a 40-unit apartment complex.
Housing authority Executive Director Jodie Paxton says Lake County has a severe affordable housing shortage.
“In our mini-market study that we had done last year, there were 500, almost 600 families that were looking for affordable housing in our area, and there was one market unit for rent. So I’ve got close to 300 families on my waiting list.”
The state grant will help build an apartment complex to replace a number of homes that are aging out of a 15-year-old program that provided federal tax breaks if owners kept them affordable. Those homes are now being sold.
“So there are 36 homes that we have in our rental pool that are leaving, and we only had 120 to begin with,” Paxton says.
The housing authority hopes to break ground on the apartment complex this fall.