Commerce Staff Join Housing Partners in Great Falls for the Baatz Block Building Groundbreaking

Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly, Montana Housing Executive Director Cheryl Cohen, Homeword Project Development Director Heather McMilin and NeighborWorks Great Falls Executive Director Sherrie Arey HELENA, Mont. – Montana Department of Commerce staff joined housing partners and professionals yesterday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Baatz Block Building in Great Falls. The Baatz Block Building will provide 25 units of permanent supportive housing and wrap-around services to those transitioning out of homelessness.

“Commerce continues to work with our statewide housing partners to increase the development of safe and affordable homes for Montanans,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “The Baatz Block Building will provide housing stability, vital services and a secure place to live for those who are experiencing and transitioning out of homelessness.”

Building residents will be connected with local service providers who can provide high-quality, cost-effective comprehensive primary and preventative medical, dental and behavioral health care, with services tailored to the unique needs of residents recently experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness.

In October 2021, the Montana Board of Housing allocated up to $6,100,000 in federal housing credits to Homeword Inc., in partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls, for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the historic Baatz Block Apartments located at 400 2nd Avenue South in Great Falls. Commerce, under its Montana Housing Division, additionally awarded $1.4 million in federal Housing Trust Fund monies and $300,000 in federal HOME Investment Partnership program funds.

The total project cost for the Baatz Block is approximately $13.6 million; the construction will create an estimated 176 Montana jobs earning $7.9 million in wages. The building is set to be completed by the end of 2024 and to be filled and operational in early 2025.

Tags: Montana Housing