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Midvale • All the mind-boggling details, government agencies and years of work that went into a new housing complex in Midvale boil down to one result.

About 180 families will find a brand-new affordable home and, possibly, a more hopeful future at the newly unveiled apartment community called Canyon Crossing at Riverwalk, which opened Wednesday.

The $36 million complex at 6880 S. 700 West will cater to low-income Utahns, thanks to federal and state cash, tax credits and other public funds that helped subsidize the seven-year project and turned a swath of foreclosed vacant turf into an appealing, contemporary neighborhood.

Longtime Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini said the cluster of 10 multistory residential buildings surrounding a community center also will help combat intergenerational poverty and rebuild struggling families.

"This is a community where people will learn, change their lives and become contributing citizens to our democracy," Seghini said. "Thank you for saving lives, teaching dignity and giving all these people a future."

The brick-and-glass buildings sit on a former smelter site, once pegged for Superfund status by the Environmental Protection Agency. The location, within walking distance of a TRAX light-rail station, has since been cleaned up and taken off the EPA's list.

Officials said rents at Canyon Crossing will be kept within the budgets of Utahns making 60 percent or below the area's median incomes. Nine units will be devoted to physically disabled adults.

The new complex, however, also differs from other affordable-housing projects in key ways. It offers two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, better suited to a range of families. The units are spacious and put a heavy emphasis on energy efficiency, with low-impact appliances and lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, triple insulation and tankless water heaters. Some residents will be drawn from the homeless and refugee ranks.

Canyon Crossing "is incredibly unique," said Grant Whitaker, president of the nonprofit Utah Housing Corp.

The land beneath Canyon Crossing was purchased during the depths of the recent economic downturn, tapping about $19 million in so-called neighborhood-stabilization funds under President Barack Obama's stimulus legislation.

Years of work ensued to secure other funding. By all accounts, another crucial piece came with a $13 million investment by the global credit card company American Express, through federal low-income housing credits.

"Without tax credits," said Mike Plaizier, executive director of Housing Plus, a nonprofit developer of affordable housing, "this project would not have been possible."

Twitter: @TonySemerad