Missoula mayor, mental health center at odds over building sale

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Patty Kent, former director of housing and development for the Western Montana Mental Health Center, stands in a permanent rental housing unit for people who are homeless or have disabilities as they’re readied for occupancy in 2015. 

Tom Bauer David Erickson

The top executives of a mental health center and Missoula’s mayor are at an impasse over the fate of an affordable apartment building that houses low-income residents with mental illness and disabilities.

Levi Anderson, CEO of Western Montana Mental Health Center, has called the issue a “political football,” while Mayor John Engen has said a meeting with Anderson would be “unproductive.”

Former county commissioner Jean Curtiss, a board member for the mental health center, said she’s disappointed in Engen’s handling of the situation.

The 20-unit Bridge Apartments building at 1205 W. Broadway in Missoula is owned by the center. It was built in the 1990s with public funding and had income restrictions to keep the apartments affordable.

The income restrictions have now expired, and Anderson said the center no longer

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