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Columbia City Council approves $3 million affordable housing project


The Columbia City Council on Monday night authorized an agreement with the Housing Authority for the Providence Walkway project. 

The project looks to address affordable housing which was listed as a priority area for the city when they were accepting applications for American Rescue Plan Act funds. If approved the city will use $3 million of the $25.2 million it received in ARPA funds to cover the project.

The Providence Walkway Project will include tearing down outdated housing units on the west side of Providence Road and replacing them with 25-52 new units. The Housing Authority estimates more than 300 people will be living on the property each year once the project is completed. Housing Authority CEO Randy Cole said the project will help address an important need in Columbia.  

"Affordable housing is a vital need in our community. It stabilizes households. it stabilizes families," Cole said. "It helps people be in a good position to increase their education, their employment, and be ready for school. Bringing that household stability brings that stability needed for people to thrive."

According to Cole, the selection process for housing will be determined by affordable housing wait lists, which had 1,436 people on it at the beginning of March. Applications are based on yearly income and voucher programs. 

The project is estimated to be completed by late 2026. 

“We see success as a very attractive high-quality, energy-efficient affordable housing unit right in our downtown along our corridor, providing affordable housing for people in the community and people accessing our services and moving on and ahead in life,” Cole said. "A big part of this project that I'm excited for is that we have had united support from the county and the city."

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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