News & Events

NeighborWorks Boise Introduces New Affordable Housing Concept in Live – Work – Create District of Garden City

05/26/15 at 06:13 AM by Jillian Hanes

If you haven’t already heard, Neighborhood Housing Services – the organization behind Paint The Town™ and Rake Up Boise™ –recently changed our name to NeighborWorks Boise!  This more welcoming and proactive name helps the organization better align with our national affiliate, NeighborWorks America® – a network of community development organizations in more than 4,000 communities across the country.  With this name change comes exciting developments for NeighborWorks Boise, including breaking ground on our newest, sensibly-priced housing concept–“urban cottages” in “pocket neighborhoods” – this Thursday, May 28th at 2pm on the corner of Carr Street and 36th Street in Garden City, less than two blocks away from the desirable Waterfront District.

Near the Connector (Interstate 184) and nestled between the Boise River and Chinden Boulevard, there is a developing section of Garden City that is becoming a hot topic among local community development leaders, including our own CEO, Joe Swenson.  This area on the fringe of Boise’s Central Business District has had its fair share of negative attention over the years, but there is a transformation taking place.  With new development planned or under way, the area has been renamed the Live – Work – Create District as it includes the local Artist in the Residence, the Visual Arts Collective, eclectic brew pubs, shops, wineries, and luxury condos along the Boise River.

While many fear “gentrification” within this District due to its convenient location to downtown Boise, NeighborWorks Boise is doing our part to keep homeownership affordable.  This Thursday’s groundbreaking for NeighborWorks Boise’s first pocket neighborhood named, 36 Oak is the formal kickoff of our homebuilding division –Neighborhood Homes– creating sensibly-priced homes in compact, convenient, locations very close to work, schools, shopping and recreation. 

“We’re building homes close to where you want to be in order to decrease your commute time and expense, and reliance on vehicles,” says Swenson, who created the Neighborhood Homes component of NeighborWorks Boise. 

The development, 36 Oak – located less than 2 blocks from the Waterfront District and less than 2 miles from the heart of downtown Boise – includes 24 units varying from compact and energy-efficient 616 square foot urban cottages, to townhomes, single family homes, and even 3-story live-work units (flexibly designed for artists and small business owners).  While pricing is still to be determined, Neighborhood Homes targets a range of $150,000-$170,000 for cottages, under $225,000 for the single family and townhomes, and perhaps $250,000-$275,000 for the live-work units – all affordably-priced for energy-efficient homes just an easy bike ride from town. Construction of the first 2 homes will start the first week of June.

Pricing is just one aspect of affordability that an educated buyer should consider, however.  Homes in 36 Oak will follow healthy and sustainable homes principles – including Energy Star certification, water conservation, innovative space planning, as well as rentable on-site storage units built within the subdivision.  These energy-efficient elements, reducing utility bills along with decreased transportation expenses (due to a closer commute), make the homes environmentally-friendly and even more affordable for the working families and individuals.

“We want our homes to be both affordable to purchase and to live in,” Swenson states. 

This new pocket neighborhood is the first of 3 that Neighborhood Homes is developing nearby in Garden City along with one in Boise over the upcoming years—totaling 69 compact single family lots.  With ample common areas, remote parking, close proximity to the Greenbelt, transit, parks and the Boise River, the vision for these neighborhoods is to encourage sociable, bike-able, walkable, stress-free living, with reduced reliance on cars for better health. 

NeighborWorks Boise doesn’t claim to have all of the answers in the on-going discussion of how to maintain a healthy ratio of people from all income levels in Garden City and beyond.  However, we are making it easier for working families and individuals – whether downsizing, co-housing, or entering homeownership for the first time – to purchase a decent, efficient, affordable home that is close to the everyday amenities you need to live a healthy and stable life. 

Interested in the Groundbreaking for 36 Oak?

The official groundbreaking for 36 Oak will be held this Thursday, May 28th at 2pm.  Click here for directions. It will include the following:

  • Garden City dignitaries to perform the groundbreaking ceremony and give brief remarks
  • 3-D images of the development layout and a labeled site plan
  • Sketches of the interior and exterior of model unit types, and people to answer questions
  • Signs delineating each lot with the specific design and elevation
  • Refreshments along with free mementos and project information handouts

The event is open to the public, and special scheduled guests include:

  • Mayor of Garden City, the Honorable John Evans
  • Garden City Council, Planning & Zoning, Design Review members and City Staff
  • Garden City Chamber of Commerce representatives
  • Neighborhood Homes Staff and Project Partners
  • Listing Agents from Keller Williams Realty Boise

Come help NeighborWorks Boise celebrate building stronger, more affordable communities!

For more information about the groundbreaking or Neighborhood Homes, visit our website or contact Bud at 258-6216 or

For more information about NeighborWorks Boise’s programs and services, visit our website or contact us at 343-4065 or


NeighborWorks Boise’s mission is to lead in creating innovative housing solutions for underserved populations through strategic partnerships that contribute to building stronger communities.

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