Governor Greg Gianforte held a press conference on Thursday at an apartment complex at 19th and Graf in Bozeman, billed as a class-A, multi-family luxury apartment home community under construction, to push for more housing development across Montana.
“High density housing like that behind us is part of the solution,” said Gianforte. “Hard-working Montanans struggle to rent or own a home."
When asked why he was holding a press conference for attainable and affordable housing at a luxury apartment complex he replied: “This is really just a representative of a more dense development project and it was convenient for today for us to do the press conference here."
This comes after his housing task force made various recommendations to alleviate the housing crisis across the state.
“One of the recommendations was denser housing,” said Gianforte.
In a response letter to the task force, the Human Resource Development Council groups from across the State agreed with the task force findings when it came to the need to increase the supply of workforce or affordable housing. However, they disagree with the 2021 legislative session House Bill 259 that banned cities from using exclusionary zoning, saying the bill takes away local government control when it comes to zoning and housing regulations.
Today Gianforte had this to say about the role of local communities: “There are things local communities can do to remove barriers to affordable housing in terms of increasing affordable housing, in terms of increasing density."
He says that work to increase housing is done at both levels of government.
“Stuff appropriately will be done at the state level, and some should be done at the local level,” says Gianforte.
Gianforte says he’s ready to implement laws to increase housing once the 2023 legislature kicks off.