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Bozeman a step closer to having affordable housing plan

The city hosted an open house for public comment
Posted at 3:29 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 17:29:49-04

The City of Bozeman is a step closer to having a draft of its Community Housing Action Plan.

Tuesday was the second of three public sessions being held by the Bozeman Community Housing Working Group.

The first open house was held in May, where participants were asked to identify goals for the plan.

"We recognize that affordable housing is perhaps the number one community concern and this action plan is absolutely vital for how we deal with it as a community. Not just as a city commissioner," said Terry Cunningham, City Commissioner of Bozeman.

The Community Housing Action Plan can be broken down into 7 different categories.

And there were 7 different stations at the open house today with a representative at each stop to help break down topics like regulations, incentives and funding affordable housing in the city.

"Regulations is one of the most popular stations. Are we over regulating the development community? If we lowered our regulation standards might we be able to get more affordable units," said Cunningham.

"Community Land trusts is popular. If we’re able to put properties in community land trusts, that extends affordability for generations to come."

President and CEO of HRDC, Heather Grenier, attended the open house to share her thoughts on the Community Housing Working Group's efforts so far.

"You know the partnership station, I think it’s station six, has a lot of great options for partnerships and I think that's really gonna be the key to making the action plan come to life, is working across public/private partnership to make things happen," said Grenier.

Tuesday's open house allowed the public to provide some feedback on the work done to date. Participants were leaving their two cents on sticky notes at each station.

"I think it’s great that the city is doing some outreach outside of City Hall. Where maybe people won’t feel as comfortable coming to provide input," said Grenier.

"It’s great to put out there what the plan is as proposed so they have time to get that feedback and adjust before they put it forth to the commission for a vote."

The next open house for the Bozeman Community Housing Action Plan will be later this fall.