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Gallatin County residents say they want to see employers put forward housing solutions

Last fall more than 400 Gallatin County residents participated in small group conversations and responded to a survey put on by the One Valley Community Foundation as part of A Seat at the Table initiative.

A new report with the responses shows many residents want to see employers put forward solutions to the area’s housing needs.

Bridget Wilkinson, president of the nonprofit One Valley Community Foundation, says while participants ranked local government as being most responsible for addressing housing needs, they also want to see employers play a leadership role.

“There was a call for employers to be a part of the solution-making whether it’s providing housing subsidies or housing assistance,” Wilkinson said.

The survey also asked how solutions should be funded. About a third of respondents opposed using property taxes.

“The majority of participants cited private philanthropy or philanthropy as the number one way for housing solutions to be funded, after that was federal money, then private investment and then property taxes,” Wilkinson said.

In the coming weeks, One Valley Community Foundation is presenting the data and residents’ stories about housing with policy makers in Gallatin County. Current housing initiatives in the county include HRDC’s tiny home village and Bozeman Health’s investment in workforce housing.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.