In Hailey, long-awaited affordable housing moves forward

By May 22, 2020 November 25th, 2020 Current Projects, News

Article covered from The Idaho Mountain Express.

Blaine ManorBlaine Manor project commended for design

The Blaine Manor Senior and Family Community development was cleared for construction Monday night after the Hailey City Council unanimously approved ARCH Community Housing Trust’s planned-unit development application for the project.

The groundbreaking date will be this summer, ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith said.

Situated at the bend in Main Street by the Campion Ice House, the 72,500-square-foot development will house 60 units in total, 30 in a senior building for residents 55 and older and 30 in a family building. Monthly rent for the one- and two-bedroom senior units will likely range from $370 to $960, Griffith said, and two- and three-bedroom family units will run from $790 to $1,110.

Of the total units, 55 will be reserved for residents earning between 30 and 60 percent of Hailey’s median income—around $47,000 for a household, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“I hope that you’ll look at the investments we’ve secured and the 60 units of much-needed affordable housing, and celebrate what we’ve been able to do here,” Griffith said prior to the council verdict.

Blaine Manor has received around $15 million in funding from several sources, Griffith said, five of which are federal. Last year, the Blaine County Commissioners also donated the land, and supplemental funding. Other sources include low-income tax credits, 4 percent bonds, Affordable Housing Program money and other federally incentivized funding sources.

On Monday, each Hailey council-member lauded ARCH’s design team for addressing the community’s housing needs.

“You have done a commendable job,” Councilwoman Kaz Thea said. “I will be very proud of this development,”

Mayor Martha Burke said she was enthusiastic about the concept of seniors and families living on the same site.

“I think for a lot of seniors, watching children play can be rewarding, and there will be a lot of good relationships built—grandparent-type figures for young people,” she said. “I don’t want to stand in the way of this project moving forward.”

Councilman Sam Linnet called Blaine Manor Hailey’s “most important” active land-use development project.

“Sixty units is huge for our city. Prior to the economic downturn, we already had a housing crisis, and things are going to get worse before they get better,” he said.

Councilwoman Heidi Husbands said Blaine Manor was a “terrific” and “much needed” project, but voiced concern over the lack of a stoplight on Maple Street.

“Cars attempting to turn south is an accident waiting to happen, especially because of the sight line around the curve. However, I believe the city will find a reasonable solution to the traffic circulation issues for [the project] before it’s completed,” she said.

ARCH expects Blaine Manor to be completed by fall 2021, Griffith said. Next steps include hiring a general contractor and holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“ARCH is thrilled to be moving forward on this very important development,” Griffith told the Express. “We’re very grateful for all the community support we’ve received—and to Blaine County for donating the land, and to the city of Hailey and the Urban Renewal Agency for their work. In addition to needed affordable housing, this investment will deliver $15 million to the local economy.”

Also approved by the council Monday night was a nine-unit, federally funded ARCH Community Housing Trust development near the intersection of Woodside Boulevard and Countryside Drive. Known as “Parcel O” at the moment, the one-acre property was allocated to the Housing Trust in November.

The upcoming development—which will soon be named—will accommodate residents earning between 30 and 80 percent of area median income, Griffith said.

Under an agreement with ARCH, the city will designate the housing for city employees and others who work in Hailey by giving those applicants the right of first refusal.

“Monday was a big night for me,” Grif-fith said.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com