New accessible apartments come to Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A new apartment complex with 15 new affordable homes, Boone Point South, is now open on Apple Tree Lane for people with disabilities. 

Boone County Family Resources celebrated the completion of the first of two apartment buildings with an open house and ribbon cutting Thursday.

Boone County Special Needs Affordable Housing developed the apartment buildings in partnership with Boone County Family Resources. Boone Point apartments provide 28 new affordable apartments for people with disabilities or others with special needs. 

Lela Gruebel, co-owner of North Star Housing, said federal and state affordable housing tax credit funded the development, which makes it affordable for the residents. However, the tax credit is in danger. 

“The state is in a budget crunch, and they're looking at ways to cut different tax credits so they're looking at all tax credits and the affordable housing tax credit is one of them,” Gruebel said. “But in my opinion that program cannot be quantified just by the dollars and cents of how much you sell a credit for and how much goes into a development to make this program work." 

Max Lewis, a spinal cord injury survivor, said these new apartments mean a lot to him. 

“It’s a sign of hope that the community recognizes that there’s a greater need for what they call universal housing,” Lewis said. “Universal housing is housing that anyone can live in whether they're disabled or not, and there’s a great need for that.”

Lewis said there’s a high demand for accessible housing. 

“It’s really hard to find,” Lewis said. “If you right now are living in an apartment that you have to get out of and you're disabled and you try to call around Columbia, Missouri you probably won't find one downtown. And you'll be hard pressed to find one around town, especially if you're in a wheelchair. It’s so difficult.” 

Boone Point South is located in southwest Columbia. Boone Point South is a part of a two-building development by Boone County Special Needs Affordable Housing. The single-story building has 13 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments. Four of the apartments are fully accessible. 

The second building, Boone Point Central on St. Joseph Street, is expected to be completed in October. A Grand Opening for Boone Point Central will be on Oct. 30.