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Housing needs assessment for Bozeman released

Posted at 1:52 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 18:12:04-05

BOZEMAN – A draft of the housing needs assessment for Bozeman and the surrounding communities has been released and there’s some work to be done.

“Affordable housing isn’t just a problem in Bozeman, it’s the problem in Bozeman,” said Terry Cunningham, the City of Bozeman Commissioner and Bozeman Affordable Housing Working Group Liasion.

Many members of the community have plans to change that.

The Bozeman Affordable Housing Working Group is made up of stakeholders who are determined to address the problem that is faced by many who live in and near the city.

The housing assessment is a 112-page document that’s made up of data from various sources that illustrates housing challenges.

“What we found was there is considerable stress at every level along the housing continuum. From emergency housing to rentals, to starter homes, to senior housing and even market-rate housing,” Cunningham said.

“We have a housing shortage and we have an attainable housing shortage as well and we have to address those issues in combination,” Cunningham added. “It has ripple effects throughout our entire community. It has economic effects, it has socioeconomic effects, it has demographic effects as who can afford to live here and where they’re able to live.”

The group will analyze the data that has been collected and move forward to create an action plan to resolve the issues they’ve found.

And many continue to wonder, why are the prices of homes and rents the way they are right now?

“To a certain extent its a function of supply and demand but there also is the case that we are growing exponentially and our housing stock is not growing at the same level,” Cunningham said. “So we have more people chasing fewer and fewer supply.”

If you’d like to see the full housing assessment draft, you can click here.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News