Community leaders, investment partners and new residents celebrated the completion of The Springs II, the second phase of an apartment community in McCall that brings an additional 36 homes to the region, helping address a need for more affordable housing.
Developed by The Housing Company and Idaho Housing Finance Association (IHFA), the Springs II integrates three additional 2-story garden apartment buildings with a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments into the now 72-unit apartment community.
Optum Idaho was the largest investor in The Springs II, providing $5.5 million of the $7.2 million development through a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment. The land for the project was donated by Valley County. Additional funding partners include IHFA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development through Bonneville Multifamily Capital. Optum Bank provided the equity financing for the project.
According to IHFA, the cost of reasonably priced housing in Valley County has continued to rise, making it increasingly difficult for employers to find and retain a sustainable workforce in the region. Since McCall relies heavily on a seasonal workforce, Valley County Commissioners, the city of McCall and IHFA, along with its partners, worked to create affordable-housing options with the goal of providing quality housing within walking distance to jobs, services and schools.
“Today’s celebration is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning,” said Douglas Peterson, director, The Housing Company. “We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from so many partners whose passion helped create this beautiful, high-quality affordable-housing community that benefits individuals and families, and serves as a stabilizing presence in Idaho.”
The Springs II features a central courtyard with a gazebo, built-in barbeques, picnic tables, a half-sized basketball court and 54 parking spaces. An onsite municipal bus stop and bike path were added to connect the community to jobs, services and schools in McCall. Residents have access to a playground, community room, club house and an onsite laundry facility, which were built as part of the first phase of the project in 2011.
More than 100 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, open house and community barbeque, including Valley County Commissioner Bill Willey and McCall Mayor Jackie Aymon, among others.
During the event, Optum Idaho employees presented “welcome baskets” with household items, cleaning supplies and other amenities donated by the company to all the residents of The Springs community. Optum employees helped purchase and assemble the baskets during a volunteer event at its headquarters in Meridian.
“Optum Idaho’s investment is part of our company’s initiative to connect people to housing, health care and other services,” said Georganne Benjamin, executive director of Optum Idaho, which employs 75 workers in the state and manages the outpatient benefits for the Idaho Behavioral Health Plan. “Our employees are thrilled to welcome the new residents and help celebrate this important addition to McCall that will provide sustained, affordable housing for years to come.”
“Enterprise is proud of our partnership with Optum Idaho and grateful for its support of affordable-housing communities like The Springs II,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment. “At Enterprise, we are committed to ending housing insecurity within a generation, which means no more homelessness or families paying more than half of their income on housing. This new community brings us closer to that goal by creating quality, affordable housing close to where they work and live.”
In addition to securing funding for The Springs II, another critical component was securing the land to develop the site. Valley County, recognizing the need for more affordable housing, worked with IHFA and The Housing Company to donate the land at no cost for the purpose of building additional affordable housing for workers in McCall.
“Quality, affordable housing for individuals and families who work in this region is so important,” said Valley County Commissioner Bill Willey. “The Springs II not only brings that to McCall but through this innovative public-private partnership, we have been able to deliver so much more that truly makes a positive difference in this community, our state and in the lives of those who will benefit from this beautiful new community.”