A 72-unit low-income housing complex is scheduled to be built to help house the working poor and homeless, according to Brent Crane, executive director of the Food and Care Coalition in Provo.

The complex will be built on 4.5 acres next to the current Food and Care Coalition building at 299 E. 900 South.

The total cost for the housing complex is $8.5 million, Crane said they have most of it thanks to major donations from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Larry and Gail Miller Foundation, and several other unnamed donors.

“We are about $2.5 million short,” Crane said. He said he hopes private donors and generous members of the community will make up the difference.

The apartments include six three-story buildings of furnished one bedroom apartments, 12 per building. They will rent for $650, but qualifying renters could be charged rent based on their income.

Crane said the apartments will not be poor quality.

“We don’t want to do the typical cot and bunk option,” he said.

According to Crane, a seventh building will house offices for partnering organizations, a classroom and laundry services for the tenants.

In the latest State of Utah Affordable Housing Assessment distributed through Workforce Services, it said that Provo is lacking over 9,000 affordable housing units.

Crane said that with the shortage, it is difficult for the working poor and homeless to find housing. This special housing development will be a beginning to help them.

“Provo wanted to do a pocket neighborhood,” Crane said. “We thought this would be a good opportunity.”

The hope is that donations will come in so construction can begin in the spring.

Crane said the development would also have overnight security guards and management, including a support group from the partner organizations.

“There is no question it will be filled,” Crane said. “The project is targeting the homeless population.”

Crane said the Food and Care Coalition and its partners wanted to do something Provo had a desire to do but has never been able to.

“We think we have the right model,” Crane said. He said when one thinks about a home, thoughts turn immediately to security, neighbors, family and a sense of belonging. Take away the home, and it takes away those securities.

Crane hopes that by providing these apartments, many people will be able to find that sense of peace and security.

The complex is in the M2 zone (manufacturing) and is away from family neighborhoods. According to Provo Community Development’s zoning office, the complex met all of the requirements for parking and more. It was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission. It does not need to go before the city council.

For more information or to donate, contact Crane at brentc@foodandcare.org.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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