Mia Maldonado/Idaho Capital Sun

In its grand opening, The Housing Company and its community partners opened new affordable housing developments for Nampa workers and families at Canyon Terrace Apartments.

Community partners include the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, Saint Alphonsus, R4 Capital and the Nampa School District. Together, the organizations allocated $18.8 million for the construction of the project. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association also contributed more than $8.5 million in tax credits to the project.

Canyon Terrace Apartments offers housing to people who earn 60% or less of area median income or $50,520 for a family of four in Canyon County, said Kathryn Almberg, the vice president and director of operations for The Housing Company.

“I had no idea that Nampa has the highest per capita of homeless students in the state,” Almberg said. “Kids need a stable place to live in order to learn and to thrive.”

The 81-unit apartment complex offers one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom spaces to Nampa residents, including 15 apartments for families experiencing homelessness with children enrolled in the Nampa School District. The complex includes amenities such as a playground, washer and dryer hookups, a computer lab, a community room and a laundry room.

“The people who live at Canyon Terrace are our local workforce, our restaurant staff, our hospital employees, our grocery store and retail workers, our first year teachers and emergency responders,” Almberg said.

Almberg said she hopes to redefine workforce housing.

“Canyon Terrace housing is the kind of housing where working people live,” she said. “Affordable housing is beautiful and well maintained because of the regulatory requirements we have to complete, so our standards for housing are very high.”

Heidi Rahn, the federal programs administrator from the Nampa School District, said that the project fosters conversations between public and private organizations to find solutions to the housing and educational needs of the community.

“This has been a huge opportunity for our students and their families to have a place to go. It means they are going to have a stable school, stable transportation and it means that the school district can come in for home visits to help support the home rather than ask the families to go into many places to get their needs met,” Rahn said. “Our kids get to call this home.”

The Idaho affordable housing crisis is a health crisis

Saint Alphonsus is one of the community partners who financially contributed for the project, allocating $1 million dollars to the housing development. Its involvement with the Canyon Terrace Apartments is one of four housing projects in the region that the hospital has helped fund. It  has funded housing and other youth projects in Boise, Nampa, Baker City and Ontario.

“Health is absolutely a crisis because of the price of housing,” said Travis P. Leach, the president of the Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa.

Housing is fundamental to a person’s health, and people experiencing homelessness do not have the stability they need to recover from an illness or to take their medication, he said.

Leach said that the placement and details of housing play an important part in the health of tenants and their families.

“There’s a lot of low income housing next to places where there are chemicals or next to a busy road,” he said. “Sidewalks, handicap accessibility and yellow markers for the visually impaired, ramps, fences and grass all come together to create a healthy place to live where you are not at risk.”