Governor Steve Bullock received cheers from the children who live at Hillview Apartments as he cut the ribbon to celebrate the Grand Opening on October 7th, 2015.
Hillview Apartments, originally constructed in 1969, had begun to show the wear and tear of its 46 years of service. GMD Development, LLC and Homeword, Inc. received $6,250,000 in financing from the Montana Board of Housing in 2013, to acquire and rehabilitate the 52 apartments in Havre. In addition, the Human Resource Development Council, HRDC4, was invited to provide a Head Start school on site. The work was recently finished and the community was invited to tour the updated and improved property.
The event was festive and was a heart-felt celebration of the accomplishment of maintaining this important and affordable housing in Havre where so many working families struggle with making ends meet. A large crowd turned out to enjoy the food and music and to hear about the significance of affordable housing for families from the governor, Bruce Brensdal, MBOH Executive Director, Greg Dunsfield, CEO, GMD Development, Andrea Davis, Executive Director, Homeword, Inc., Karen Thomas, Executive Director, HRDC4, Karen Burkett, Property Management, and from two tenants. The governor also helped the children of the onsite Head Start class plant a tree to mark the special occasion.
Hillview Apartments is available for renters who earn less than $25,620 (individual) or $36,600 (family of four). The rent is affordable and does not force families to choose between healthy food, medical care and clothing in order to have a safe and secure home for their children.
Hillview Apartments consists of eight one-bedroom, eight two-bedroom, twenty four three-bedroom, and twelve four-bedroom units. This property will be affordable for the citizens of Havre for the next 46 years and will serve tenants at area median incomes of 40, 50, and 60%. The contract for Section 8 project based vouchers has been extended for 20 years, covering all 52 units with rental assistance that will keep each family’s rent to approximately 30% of their income.
The economic benefit to Havre, by having this rehabilitation project completed in their community has been significant. There has been an increase of $5,256,250 in local income; $443,750 in taxes and other revenue for the local government; 72 local jobs; and $68,750 in residential property taxes that have been kept intact by not allowing the property to fall into disrepair.
GMD Development, LLC and Homeword, Inc. are the sponsors, developers, and owners of this project. GMD specializes in affordable housing development. Its owner, Gregory Dunfield has over 17 years of experience with over 34 properties and 3,300 units in 12 states. Homeword is a Community Housing Development Organization that is committed to providing safe, healthy, affordable housing using sustainable methods and promoting strong communities through housing counseling and education for those in need. Homeword has been in operation for 18 years and have completed 15 affordable housing developments.
Working with Homeword, the contractor was Hardy construction out of Billings MT, the Architect & Engineer were L’Heureux Page Werner, and the Attorney was Don St. Peter from Missoula.
For information on affordable housing in Montana, visit the website at housing.mt.gov or contact the Montana Department of Commerce at 406-841-2840.