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Bozeman Health plans to secure 100 apartment units for workforce housing

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital exterior.
Bozeman Health
Bozeman Health

Gallatin County’s largest employer plans to invest in a workforce housing complex that is being planned near the region’s airport in Belgrade.

Bozeman Health announced earlier this week that it will secure 100 units in an apartment building to be constructed near Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. The health system says it will partner on the project with ERES Capital, a real estate investment firm that focuses in part on workforce housing.

Jason Karp, planning director for the city of Belgrade, told YPR that there is a section of the Yellowstone Airport Plaza development that has been approved for mixed uses, which would allow for workforce housing, but building plans for the workforce housing complex have not yet been submitted.

Edie Willey, who works in Human Resources at Bozeman Health, says she hopes that the health system's first-ever capital investment in creating housing units for its employees will help with recruitment and retention.

“We have learned about employees that are needing to sleep in their cars, arriving here to Bozeman Health to be at a new job and they’re unable to find housing, so they’re having to leave,” she said.

The hospital system is currently surveying employees about their housing needs and gathering feedback on the design and layout for the apartments.

“Our best approach is to ensure that we make it as attainable as possible for employees, particularly those who are making between $17 and $30 an hour,” she said.

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.