Missoula to buy affordable Bridge apartments after buyer abandonment ~ Missoula Current
After missing the opportunity to secure an affordable apartment complex for people with certain disabilities earlier this year, the town of Missoula will ultimately become the new owner of the property.
Missoula Mayor John Engen said on Thursday that the city was conducting a due diligence on the 21-unit complex, known as Bridge Apartments, and that it planned to make an offer.
The $ 2.2 million offer, announced on Monday, is the same offer that was initially turned down by Western Montana Mental Health in favor of another buyer earlier this year.
“I don’t know what happened with the first buyer, but we are currently looking at the due diligence,” Engen said last week. “We’re going to be able to acquire this facility, as long as (the city council) supports it, and I think we will have that support.”
The property is listed for $ 2.2 million and is owned by Western Montana Mental Health. The organization received public funding to build the facility in the 1990s in exchange for keeping the units affordable for a period of time.
But the required accessibility period expired and the property was put up for sale on the open market. This raised concerns about the loss of 21 affordable housing units and what would happen to the tenants who live there.
The city will purchase the property through the Missoula redevelopment agency and take care of any deferred maintenance and ensure the building is safe for residents. It will seek a partner to operate and possibly own the building, on condition that it guarantees that the current use remains permanently in place.
“We are going to acquire it, get an act restriction so that it can be used for this population in perpetuity,” Engen said. “We hope to put it in our hands and get out of it fairly quickly. It’s something that I think we can put in our wins column.
Engen admitted that the city was unable to operate the facility and meet the needs of its residents. To cover this, the city is working with Providence Supportive Services, which provides similar services in other areas.
“It seems like a perfect opportunity to bring them to market, so to speak,” Engen said. “They offer supportive housing throughout their system, particularly in Washington state and Oregon. This is what they do. They run residential facilities for people with significant problems that require support. “
The city made the deal public on Monday.
“One of the most effective ways to house people is to make sure they aren’t homeless to begin with,” Engen said in a statement. “Our agreement with Western ensures stable long-term housing for residents who would otherwise be exceptionally vulnerable in Missoula’s tight real estate market.”