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May 09, 2013 8:14 am

EDITORIAL: Apartment complexes will provide needed housing

Written by Ilene Olson

The announcement that four 12-unit apartment complexes will be built soon in Park County — two in Powell, two in Cody — is good news, especially for renters.

Ask anyone who has been looking for an affordable place to rent for the last several years. It’s often a difficult, discouraging proposition.

While the rental market fluctuates somewhat, recent independent market studies confirm the need for more affordable apartment housing in Park County. That need is significant enough that, of the six housing projects approved two weeks ago for funding through the Wyoming Community Development Authority, four will be in Park County.

Previously, the criteria used for funding these types of low-income apartment complexes favored larger cities in the state. The formula was adjusted recently to more accurately reflect the need in smaller communities as well.

In Powell, Blue Line Development of Missoula, Mont., and Wyoming Housing Network will build a 12-unit apartment complex on East Seventh Street, while Summit Housing Group, also of Missoula, will construct another one on Monroe Street. Each complex is estimated to cost more than $2 million to build.

While some may complain that both companies are Montana firms, the fact remains that they are the ones that took the initiative to research the need, propose the projects and pursue funding for them. And both companies say they plan to work with local contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. A representative of Blue Line Development met with local contractors and subcontractors here earlier this week; a similar meeting with Summit Housing Group is planned in the near future.

Citing the need for more affordable apartment rentals, the Powell City Council and the Powell Economic Partnership wrote letters of support for both projects.

We believe the rental housing will be good for Powell and good for renters. The increased competition also will encourage local landlords to keep their rentals well maintained.

We recognize that many local rental property owners work diligently to repair and maintain their rentals to keep them in good condition for their renters. But we also are aware that some, buoyed by a tight rental market, have been far more interested in collecting rent payments than spending money on needed maintenance and repairs.

City Building Official William Petersen said he wants to ensure the new apartment complexes also are well maintained.

We commend the Powell City Council and the Powell Economic Partnership for their support of these apartment complex projects, which will benefit not only renters, but the city as a whole. They will provide quality housing for people struggling to make ends meet while also helping meet the housing needs of the community.

2 comments

  • Comment Link May 09, 2013 10:05 am posted by Arlene Beard

    why not build affordable housing near Walmart in Cody? The ability for the poor and disabled to get around in Cody is so difficult. I usually walk alot but am recovering from surgery and its difficult to walk a distance.

  • Comment Link May 13, 2013 2:47 pm posted by Slick

    whatever happened to the case involvong Nick Ungar? I never heard anything else about it. I know that the fanminly has been trying to get information about the case and keep getting shut down!! why are the police not cooperating with his family? are they hiding something?

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