GREAT FALLS, Mont. – With hardhats on and shovels in hand, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote Friday joined local partners to celebrate the groundbreaking of Rockcress Commons, a new 124-unit affordable housing property in Great Falls.
"We know that our communities thrive when their workers can afford to live and raise their families close to good-paying jobs," said Lt. Gov. Cooney. "That is why it is so important we recognize and celebrate Rockcress Commons, a place that will provide a safe and affordable home for local hard-working Montanans for many years to come."
Rockcress Commons will provide affordable rent for at least 46 years for local families and individuals earning 60 percent or less of Area Median Income (AMI). In Great Falls, 60 percent of AMI is currently $32,040 for a two-person household.
After construction is complete, Rockcress Commons will have 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units that will include modern amenities and renewable heating systems. The apartments will be conveniently located at the south end of 23rd Street South near a variety of schools, parks, stores, banks and restaurants.
Neighborworks Great Falls and GMD Development partnered to put the estimated $24 million deal together primarily using approximately $17 million of Housing Credits allocated by the Department of Commerce’s Montana Housing. Other funding sources and benefits that assisted the development of Rockcress include the use of tax exempt bonds, solar tax credits, real estate tax abatement and receiving a discounted land purchase price by the seller.
The Housing Credit program is a federal tax credit created in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 designed to encourage private sector investment in the new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of rental housing affordable to low-income households.