In their largest project to date, Habitat for Humanity of Helena, Mont., is working to build 1,000 new mixed-income homes over the coming years. The East Helena project will be situated on a roughly 243-acre plot of land that was declared a cleanup site in 1984 by the Environmental Protection Agency due to a smelting site in the same location and was recently declared safe for development.
The affordable housing development will include green spaces, parks, and walking trails near Prickly Pear Creek, KTVH reports. Helena Habitat for Humanity hopes to break ground on the project within the next 18 months and finish building in 15 to 20 years.
“This project is larger in scope and scale than most anything I've seen in the nation,” says Executive Director of Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, Jacob Kuntz.
“The average price of a home in Helena and Helena area is $465,000, and that requires a household income of at least $130,000 to be able to afford the mortgage. That's over $3000 a month. And I don't know who is affording that, but it's not the working people of Helena that occupy our schools, and our police departments, the fire stations, who run the businesses and make things happen here," noted Kuntz.