The Montana Department of Commerce announced this week that for the first time, state dollars are available to develop affordable rental homes for low- to moderate-income residents.
The state’s new Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program is accepting applications on a rolling basis for low interest loans from its $15 million pool of funding.
A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce says the funding is expected to support six developments, with about 40 units in each.
The program is a result of House Bill 16 that was passed during the 2019 legislative session. It’s considered the first time that state funds have been made available to support the construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental homes in Montana.
The funding can also be used to buy land for multifamily rentals and land trusts for rental and mobile or manufactured homes.
Loan repayments will be used to fund the development of additional homes.
More affordable rental units is something needed across Montana.
Bozeman needs nearly 500 units to ease the tight rental market, according to the city’s Community Housing Needs Assessment released earlier this year. A report from Headwaters Economics in 2015 found nearly 40 percent of renters in Jefferson County were paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing -- that’s above the threshold for what’s considered affordable.
Applications from non-profits, for-profits and local government submitted by December 30th will be reviewed by the Montana Board of Housing at their next meeting on February 10th.