BELGRADE — The Montana Department of Commerce announced more than $3 million investment for affordable housing across the state of Montana. This includes a $668,000 investment to the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade, which they hope will maintain the affordability of the apartments.
“I don't know how many property management companies get Christmas cards from the residents, but we do,” says Thomas Lee, Colorado Apartments property manager.
Thomas lee has been a property manager at the Colorado Apartments in Belgrade for around four years his residents have become like family to him.
“We're just really happy for them,” says Lee.
Lee is filled with excitement following a $668,000 investment to renovate the Colorado Apartments.
“To give them a whole new apartment. To be able to provide a really refresh as far as cabinets, carpets and all the things that we're going to,” says Lee
Lee says now the work begins to find the elderly residents a place to stay while renovations are underway.
62% of elderly renters in Belgrade are facing difficult financial decisions according to the Gallatin County Regional Housing study.
“It's like not going to be easy in the logistics of it. But, they're grateful to be live in there and they're grateful for the fact that we were able to keep it affordable,” says Lee.
Rent at the Colorado apartments is $700 a month. Between 2015 and 2020 Belgrade saw a 27% decrease in rental options under $1000. In a time when prices keep going up, HRDC says they are working to keep rent down.
“A big piece of what we try and do so whether that's preserving naturally occurring affordable housing like mobile home parks,” says Heather Grenier, president & CEO of HRDC.
As new developments come online, they work with partners to stabilize rent across the valley.
“There’s a lot of time and energy that goes into that, but we recently just did it for 236 units across Bozeman and Livingston,” says Grenier.
HRDC hopes to start the renovations on the apartments as soon as possible.