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Missoula Housing Authority Still Seeking Help for Vantage Villa Residents After Arson Fire [AUDIO]

Vantage Villa
photo by Peter Christian

On June 13, 41 households were displaced by an arson-caused fire at the Vantage Villa Apartments on East Broadway. The Missoula Housing Authority still needs to acquire 20 apartments, so they can move the residents out of a local motel.

Executive Director Laurie Davidson said on Friday, that the residents have been staying at the Red Lion motel, costing the program tens of thousands of dollars.

“We’re up close to $100,000 so far,” Davidson said. “It might even be more than that after the holiday weekend, so with money running out for that program, we won’t be able to keep that up much longer.”

In addition to the motel rooms, the housing authority is also providing a daily meal stipend of $51 per person.There are also costs involved for moving and storing all the furnishings for the displaced residents.

Davidson outlined the types of housing units needed.

“We  need studio or one-bedroom apartments, ground floor would be helpful,” Davidson said. “A lot of residents have some mobility issues. We don’t need full wheelchair accessible units, but something that is easy for people to move around in would be really useful, as well as being near public transportation, but that’s not a requirement. And, we’d like six-month leases, because the residents do expect to move back into Vantage Villa once it’s rebuilt, in eight to 12 months.”

Davidson asks anyone with an apartment that meets these requirements to contact the Missoula Housing Authority at 549-4113, or visit their website.

Vantage Villa was severely damaged by an arson fire, which was set by Travis Crosby, 28, a resident who was upset about receiving an eviction notice. Crosby is in the Missoula County Jail on $75,000 bond. Damage to the complex has been estimated to be between $3 and $5 million dollars.

Missoula Housing Authority Executive Director Laurie Davidson

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