The City of Missoula is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment of a six-unit manufactured housing development on Montana Street being planned in conjunction with Homeword, Inc.

Grants Administrator for the city's Office of Housing and Community Development, Will Sebern, said the project is designed to help low to moderate income individuals and families to purchase a new home at an affordable price.

"We know what the issues are right now in Missoula," Sebern said. "To afford the median priced home in Missoula, a family needs to earn $89,000 annually, and that's simply out of reach for a lot of people, so this is going to create a very accessible home ownership opportunity for working families in Missoula"

Homeword, Inc. is seeking $288,924 of City of Missoula HOME Investment Partnerships Program funding for the $879,658 project, which will be located at 1717 Montana Street, near the new location of the Missoula Food Bank.

Through the Human Resource Council in Bozeman, Homeword of Missoula obtained several surplus modular homes originally bound for the oil fields in Sidney, Montana  and transported them to Missoula for this affordable housing project. Executive Director Andrea Olson and Housing Development Director Heather McMillan said the idea is to offer these modular homes on a building lot near the new Missoula Food Bank at very affordable prices.

“We’re hoping to sell these modular homes for between $80,000 and $100,000, said Olson. “We’re placing six small homes on an infill lot, and all city services will be connected, such as sewer and water. We want to place these modular homes on permanent foundations. They’re mostly marketed to those with 80 percent of the area median income, but one of the units will be sold at the market price.”

Sebern said with just six units being offered, he expects a large demand for the chance to purchase the homes.

"Given the crunch in the housing market, people are looking for home ownership that they can afford and so I am expecting that when this project is fully developed, we're going to see very high demand for purchasing these units," he said. "We work with a program called the Home Investment Partnerships Program from the federal government to help assist in the creation of more affordable housing in the city."

The City of Missoula has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. The proposed location is currently a vacant lot.

Anyone seeking more information about the project and who wishes to make a comment may get more details here.