POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Some relief may be coming to Pocatello's housing crunch, as two affordable housing projects are getting started in the Gate City.
Idaho is in the midst of a highly competitive housing market that's depleted Pocatello's supply of homes, especially for first-time home buyers. Two non-profit organizations are hoping to add more options for homeowners by building new housing projects.
NeighborWorks Pocatello is planning a 26-unit subdivision called Bonneville Commons at the site of the old Bonneville Elementary School on 320 N 8th Ave. They're presenting their preliminary plat to the Pocatello Planning & Zoning Commission on July 28, and if all goes according to plan, they could break ground this fall.
“We knew there was a real housing crunch in Pocatello and at the same time we wanted to do something that would really uplift the Bonneville Neighborhood, so it just came together,” said Mark Dahlquist, executive director of NeighborWorks Pocatello.
NeighborWorks has plans to build a mix of 1,100-1,800 square feet, 2-3 bedroom single family homes and town homes that will serve a variety of income levels. Six homes will be dedicated to low-income applicants.
“We really think that’s healthy for a neighborhood to have many different demographics and income levels,” Dahlquist said.
The first homes could be move-in ready by Fall 2022, Dahlquist said.
More homes are expected to be ready around the same time, but on the opposite side of the Gate City. Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency is building an affordable housing subdivision called Alpine Crossing on their 18-acre plot on Philbin Road in Chubbuck, next to Connor Academy.
They have a phased, longterm plan to build 48 single family homes, 22 of which will be dedicated to their Self-Help Housing program for low-income buyers. SEICAA expects to start home construction in Spring 2022.
CEO of SEICAA, Shantay Bloxham, said the need for housing is there.
“In the last 3-4 years is when we noticed that overall inventory shortage compared to the number of people seeking homeownership opportunities,” Bloxham said.
Both SEICAA's and NeighborWorks' developments are larger than their typical single home build, but both are taking on the big projects in order to fill a need. More than a year out from an estimated move-in date, SEICAA already has 12 people on the waiting list who are interested in the affordable homes.
“Frankly the demand is just there. If the market stays like how it is now, we anticipate having a lot of interest from future homeowners,” Dahlquist said.