Section 8 housing vouchers assigned to Boise apartments for the homeless

The 41-unit New Path Community Housing will be Boise's first apartment structure specifically for the chronically homeless. Image courtesy of Thomas Development.
The 41-unit New Path Community Housing will be Boise’s first apartment structure specifically for the chronically homeless. Image courtesy of Thomas Development.

The Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority has assigned 40 Section 8 housing vouchers to Boise’s first apartment complex for the chronically homeless. The apartment project is scheduled to be built at the southeast corner of Fairview Avenue and 24th Street in the city’s West End.

This marks the first time the housing authority has designated project-based vouchers rather than the standard tenant-based Section 8 vouchers issued to low-income individuals to subsidize housing costs. The 40 project-based vouchers were subtracted from the total 2,000 Section 8 vouchers allocated to the local housing authority, said Jillian Patterson, the authority’s housing program director.

“These vouchers will serve people who are chronically homeless,” Patterson said.

These vouchers will be assigned to the New Path Beginnings apartments to subsidize tenant rent payments rather than being acquired by and submitted by tenants, Patterson said.

For New Path Beginnings, this supplies guaranteed income rather than relying on tenants securing Section 8 vouchers.

“The majority of the income will be based on project-based vouchers,” said Tom Mannschreck, a general partner in the New Path Beginnings project. “By partnering with Boise and Ada County, we have a source of income to provide maintenance and capital improvements. (This housing) has the same level of operating expenses as any other project.”

The project-based vouches will bridge the gap between the rent and the dollar amount a tenant is able to pay. The housing authority acknowledged the homeless tenants likely will have less reliable sources of money than other low-income people.

Deanna Watson
Deanna Watson

“What we pay for those vouchers is going to be higher than what we pay under the tenant-based program,” said Deanna Watson, the housing authority’s executive director

The project-based vouchers and the apartments dedicated to the chronically homeless are both outgrowths of the community’s Housing First program announced in February 2016. At the same time, Housing First issued a request for proposals for a single-site housing project “uniquely designed to serve and support the target population.” The Housing First partners include Idaho Housing and Finance Association, the City of Boise, Ada County, St. Luke’s Health System, Saint Alphonsus Health System and The Home Partnership Foundation.

Housing First selected Boise Pacific NIHC Associates to build a four-story, 41-unit New Path Beginnings complex that will also include largely on-site support service such as health care, mental health counseling, case management, substance use treatment and financial counseling. One unit is for use as a manager’s residence.

Boise Pacific NIHC was the only respondent to the housing authority’s request for proposals to become a recipient of project-based housing vouchers.

Caleb Roope
Caleb Roope

Boise Pacific NIHC is a joint venture of three local developers who have previously collaborated in building and operating affordable housing projects: Northwest Integrity Housing Company and TPC Holdings V LLC with general partners Mannschreck, CEO of the Thomas Development Co., and Caleb Roope, CEO of The Pacific Companies.

Earlier in March, the Boise City Council rezoned the Fairview/22nd Street property for multi-family housing and Mannschreck expects to submit designs to the city’s Design Review Committee in April.

“We should be out of the ground in the fourth quarter,” Mannschreck said.

He anticipates opening New Path Beginnings late in the third quarter of 2018.