More than 100 affordable apartments in downtown Helena will remain available for people in need, thanks to a partnership between public and private organizations.
The managers of the Guardian Apartments recently completed a full renovation of their facilities.
On Tuesday, Montana Department of Commerce director Pam Haxby-Cote toured the apartments.
Two years ago, the Guardian was near the end of its contract as an affordable housing complex, when developer Kirk Bruce purchased it and committed to remodeling it. The $9.8 million renovation was partially funded with tax credits from the state Board of Housing and grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with financing from Stockman Bank.
The Guardian Apartments provide affordable housing for people who are 62 or older and those with disabilities. The tenants all pay 30 percent of their income in rent, and HUD covers the rest.
Haxby-Cote says places like the Guardian Apartments can be vital for people in need.
“It can mean the difference between having a healthy, safe, clean, affordable environment and even being homeless,” she said.
She praised the various agencies and organizations that worked together to make the renovation possible.
“This project is going to change lives and enhance lives for another maybe 50 years,” said Haxby-Cote. “So this is a good thing that wouldn’t have happened in a vacuum.”
In addition to preserving affordable housing, the Department of Commerce reports the project created 73 jobs and generated more than $6 million in wages.
The Guardian Apartments are managed by the Human Resources Development Council in Bozeman.
Property managers now plan to renovate the exterior of the apartments, adding new siding and rebuilding the roof. Breana Thomas, asset manager for HRDC, says that work will start later this spring.