NeighborWorks plans new Boise affordable housing. Recent project had homes in low $200,000s

A Boise nonprofit that has created several pocket neighborhoods with affordable housing has plans for its most visible development yet.

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NeighborWorks Boise is looking to build 39 single-family homes — seven detached and 32 attached residences — at the southwest corner of the old Cole Elementary School property, located at Cole and Fairview roads. The project, known as ColeBluff Cottages, would features homes with one to three stories, two to four bedrooms, and square footage between 816 and 1,998.

Each home would have two to four bedrooms and be 816 square feet to 1,998 square feet. Plans for the complex include 16 garages and 55 parking spaces — 25 covered and 30 uncovered.

“We are really excited about this project and to the degree we can honor the site with some our our architecture and different features, remembering what was once there,” Neighborworks CEO Bud Compher told the Boise City Council on Tuesday.

The council unanimously approved a preliminary plat. It will need to go through a design review before construction can begin.

“I appreciate you guys coming forward with this development,” Council President Elaine Clegg told Compher before the vote. “It’s been a tough site, and this seems to meet not just the conditions of the development agreement, but much of what the neighborhood asked for.”

To create a sense of community, the homes would open to two central courtyards, and there would be two pergolas, raised garden beds and walking paths.

NeighborWorks owns 283 multifamily units for low-income families. It has also developed four pocket neighborhood projects in Garden City and two in Boise. A fifth Garden City project is being built now.

Pocket neighborhoods look to move residents closer to where they work and play. They also attempt to design the housing so that neighbors interact with one another, with walking paths to encourage those interactions and make it so cars don’t dominate the streetscape.

NeighborWorks hopes to begin construction on ColeBluff in summer 2021. A spokesperson did not know Tuesday how long construction would take.

Prices have not been set. For the latest Garden City project at 45th and Adams streets, home prices were listed in the low $200,000s.

Anyone can buy NeighborWorks houses; there are no eligibility requirements. For previous projects, buyers have had mixed income levels, officials said. Grants for down payments were available for low-income families.

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©2020 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)

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