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Fire Tower Apartments in downtown Helena has been awarded $6.3 million in federal housing credits to rehabilitate and preserve 44 units for seniors and tenants with special needs. 

The city of Helena worked closely with Wishcamper Development Partners of Missoula, which submitted the proposal for the project. The project will improve infrastructure and address failing systems, a crumbing exterior and decaying interiors. 

The project is expected to cost just over $9.4 million in total and will create approximately 123 jobs earning $5.5 million in wages. The project is expected to begin next year. 

The Fire Tower Apartments project is one of six to receive federal funding allocated by the Montana Board of Housing. It was chosen from 16 applications as a prime candidate for the low-income housing tax credits. 

Supporting this project was important to the Helena City Commission, which has been working to address the increasing need for affordable and low-income housing in the Helena area.

Tyson O'Connell, principal of Wishcamper, said that without the Montana Board of Housing and support from the City of Helena, this project wouldn't be happening.

"We greatly appreciate their commitment to preserving and creating affordable housing in downtown Helena," O'Connell said. 

Just last month, construction began on an affordable housing complex called the Red Alder Apartments on Helena's Westside. These apartments were also awarded competitive tax credits from the Montana Board of Housing.

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