A developer plans on building affordable apartments for older adults in Bozeman, a demographic expected to grow fast in coming years.

Summit Housing Group, based in Missoula, hopes to build the apartments on North 27th Avenue, between Turbulence and Tschache lanes. Called Timber Ridge Apartments, it would consist of 20 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units.

The project is still in an early stage, Summit president Rusty Snow said, and he hasn’t submitted an informal application with the city yet. The property will likely look similar to Summit’s multi-family affordable unit adjacent to the Timber Ridge site, called Stoneridge Apartments, featuring brick, stone and wood.

It would likely also be a three-story singular building, with elevators and more senior-friendly features, Snow said. It would be available to people ages 55 and older, with rents at 40, 50 and 60% of the area median income.

Summit saw a need for housing for older adults in Bozeman, as there are 256 affordable housing units for the elderly spread across five sites, said HRDC housing director Shari Eslinger. From 2000 to 2060, economists predict the number of people in the 65 and older age group will grow 585% in the Gallatin Valley, according to Prospera Business Network’s Economic Profile for 2019.

That means the age group will grow nearly six times faster than any other age group, requiring resources to serve that population.

Before moving forward with the project, Summit, partnering with HRDC, is waiting to see if it will receive tax credit financing from Montana Board of Housing.

“Ninety-nine percent of what we look at and what we do is utilize these housing tax credits,” Snow said.

The credits have allowed them to build affordable housing in six states so far — South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado and Utah. Snow expects to know if Summit received the credits by late fall. By Snow’s estimation, about half the applications submitted are approved.

In the meantime, people can submit comments regarding the project to the Montana Board of Housing, and there will be a meeting open to town members, Snow said.

When it comes to affordable housing, Bozeman might have the greatest need in the state, he said. And as Bozeman’s population ages, housing that’s designed with older adults in mind will be necessary.

“We just felt that was a part of the population that wasn’t being addressed at all,” he said.

Abby Lynes can be reached at alynes@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2651. Follow her on Twitter @Abby_Lynes.

Abby Lynes covers business and the economy for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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