City of Bozeman seeks community input as affordable housing plans progress

Posted at 2:37 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 18:16:28-04

BOZEMAN – The city of Bozeman has been working on its affordable housing needs for quite a while now.

On May 13, Commissioners approved the next step in the affordable housing work and that next step is the action plan. Navigate LLC is the outside consultant that’s been working with Bozeman staff on this project.

The Community Housing Needs Assessment is now complete and is helping the city to continue to move forward with this process.

“I think the main thing it’s going to consist of is that the consultants who are experts in this process will present to the working group 15 or 20 tools they call that which are things that are done in other communities to relieve the affordable housing stress or problems. So this working group will discuss each of those tools and rank and prioritize them,” Affordable Housing Manager Loren Olsen said.

The goal of this action plan is to understand the community housing needs and to design a plan to build more housing for a range of residents within the city.

“I think its particularly appropriate to find housing that is accessible to people in the Bozeman workforce,” Urban Renewal Program Manager and City of Bozeman Economic Development Specialist David Fine said.

Developers have preliminary plans to build 97 affordable condominium units on what would be 8th Avenue if it was constructed.

Some of these units would be available to those making 80% of the area median income, up to 110%.

Fine said, “What makes it feasible is two kinds of incentive funds. The first one is new markets tax credits; that’s the big one that’s a federal program. It’s for investments for jobs and housing in what is considered low- and moderate-income census tracts, which are where this is. The second one is the tax increment financing funds. This project wouldn’t be possible without tax increment financing to support the infrastructure that will be necessary to be constructed for this project.”

The city wants community input and is hosting a public workshop on Thursday, May 23.

The workshop will focus on defining community housing goals and objectives. For more information, clickhere.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News

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