It is impossible to deny that Bozeman is in desperate need of affordable housing. With the median sales price of a home in Bozeman creeping past $800k, thousands of residents are finding themselves priced out of Bozeman’s real estate market. It is easy to feel like there is no progress being made when it comes to affordable housing in Bozeman. But, there are organizations, individuals, companies, and developers who are all working to address Bozeman’s affordable housing shortage as best they can. In this post, we take a look at some upcoming affordable housing solutions in Bozeman.
Photo credit: Hennebery Eddy Architects
Foothold is a new, Bozeman-based company that is building sustainable and affordable prefabricated homes. The company founders are taking a concept that is popular around the world and bringing it to Montana for the first time. Because the Foothold homes are smaller than the average home and are built in a factory using a streamlined process, they are an affordable alternative to traditional housing. Building homes this way eliminates variables, cutting down the cost of building a home, particularly in Montana where weather conditions make the building process even more difficult.
The company’s preliminary model homes range from 400 sq. ft studios starting at $85,000 to 1,000 sq. ft 2BD/2BA homes that start at $200,000. Of course, the next challenge is finding places to put the homes, and Foothold is partnering with community land trusts, developers, and homebuyer assistance programs to make this happen. The goal of Foothold is to build better pathways to homeownership in southwest Montana. While the company is new and still working on its process, we love what they are doing and hope that they are here to stay! Visit their website for more information.
The Bridger View homes are currently under construction just east of Story Mill Park. There will be 62 homes at Bridger View, half of which will be for sale at current market values and half of which will be for sale below market rates. The 31 below-market-rate homes will be priced at levels that middle-income Bozeman residents can afford.
To qualify to purchase one of the below-market-rate homes, your household income will need to be less than 120% of the area median income. According to the Bridger View website, that is currently estimated to be under $110,000 for the buyer’s gross household income. Applicants that are approved will be entered into a lottery system for the available homes. Phase 2 of this project recently closed for applications and the next phase will become available late summer 2023. Each owner of a below-market-rate home will be able to sell their home at a price that caps appreciation, ensuring that the home remains affordable from one homeowner to the next. For more information on these visit Headwaters Community Housing Trust.
In the Spring of 2021, the city of Bozeman agreed to subsidize the 9Ten housing project in Midtown Bozeman. This 2-building development is located between 7th & 8th Ave, just behind the Darigold building southwest of the Bozeman Inn where Santa Fe Red’s used to be. According to an article by NBC Montana, there will be 90 condos that will initially be sold below market value. 20% of the units at 9Ten will be made permanently affordable for the area’s workforce. Plans show a total of 100 units between the two buildings that will be a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom floor plans. The project is in the final review stage with the city.
Blackwood Groves is a new subdivision on Bozeman’s south side, located on the east side of 19th Avenue and just south of the Alder Creek subdivision. This 120-acre development will be a walkable mixed-use community with a variety of homes available. There will be 26 affordable homes at Blackwood Groves, including one, two, and three-bedroom floor plans. According to the Blackwood Groves Affordable housing plan, the homes will likely be listed for sale on the MLS system. Potential buyers must meet all qualification standards in Sec 38.380.150 of the Bozeman Municipal Code. Click here to see what is currently for sale in Blackwood Groves.
The Annex is a new project near Montana State University on the west corner of 19th and Kagy Blvd that will offer affordable workforce housing. Construction on The Annex began in April 2021, and once it is complete there will be 134 apartments available. The residences at The Annex will be a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units with covered parking, fitness center, and storage space. The Annex apartments will be available for people making between 80-120% of the area's median income and will also be open to MSU students. This type of workforce housing is a new concept to Bozeman but has become increasingly necessary as local businesses are struggling to find employees because of the lack of affordable housing.
The Arrowleaf Park apartments are a newly constructed community located at 1619 Tschache Lane in Northwest Bozeman. Arrowleaf Park offers affordable rental units that are income-restricted, you can see the current income limits here. There are one, two, or three-bedroom apartments or townhomes available, the units are pet friendly and there are ADA accessible units available.
This affordable housing development was brought to life by HRDC and GMD Development. Arrowleaf Park not only offers housing, but there is also an early child care center run by Family Promise on the premise that is open 7 days a week with extended hours for children whose parents work less traditional hours. Family Promise has been working on childcare scholarships for families based on needs and income.
Perennial Park is a sister project to the Arrowleaf Park development that provides affordable rental housing for people 55 years or older. The apartments are brand new and feature full kitchens, washers & dryers in the unit, private balconies, and energy-efficient windows. The Perennial Park apartments are income-restricted; you can see the most recent income limits here.
There is a Community Health Partners clinic facility on-site that offers affordable medical, dental, and other healthcare services to Perennial Park residents as well as the public. Residents can also enjoy community gardens, walking paths, a fitness room, and a library.
As Bozeman’s largest employer, Bozeman Health is making progress towards much-needed workforce housing for their employees. They recently announced plans to build approximately 100 units of housing in the new Yellowstone Airport Plaza development in Belgrade. Their goal is to have these units available for Bozeman Health employees to rent at attainable rates. The first phase is slated to begin construction this summer with completion at the end of 2023.
This project is still in a very initial phase, but it is worth mentioning here because it is proposing new affordable workforce housing downtown. The (soon-to-be) old fire station is located just off of Main Street at the corner of North Rouse and East Mendenhall. When the fire station moves to its new location further down Rouse, the property will be available for a new purpose. The city commissioners have focused on finding a buyer for this property that would provide some level of affordable housing. An offer has been made to build at least 50 workforce housing units in this location which will be targeted at people making no more than 120% of the median income. Stay tuned for details.
While these projects are all a step in the right direction, we know that Bozeman still has a long way to go to solve its affordable housing crisis. There are some great organizations in Bozeman that are working through these challenges, like Family Promise, HRDC, and One Valley Community Foundation. If you feel passionate about Bozeman’s housing issues and want to help facilitate change, we encourage you to support these organizations, attend their meetings, and join their boards. You can also attend the city commission meetings and become involved with the Community Affordable Housing Advisory Board bi-weekly meetings to help make a difference. You can also check out this post for more on affordable housing in Bozeman.
This is an exciting new development regarding affordable housing because they are advertising that homes will start at $250,000! The goal for Cameron Crossing is to create a neighborhood of reasonably priced homes that will feature community gardens, walking trails, a playground, and a dog park. It will be located on 51 acres at the corner of Jackrabbit and East Cameron Bridge Road making it convenient for both Bozeman and Belgrade. The plan is for 260 new, manufactured homes where the homes are built in a factory and brought to the site. People will not own the lots and will pay lot rent, similar to other mobile home communities. Click here to visit their website for more information.
On the 20 acres next to Cameron Crossing is another new subdivision, the Silos which will consist of approximately 143 single-family homes. Prices have not been set for these homes, but developers expect them to start in the mid $600,000 range.
The city is working with a developer to find an affordable housing solution on the north side of town. The city used American Rescue Plan grant money and invested $5 million dollars to build sewage infrastructure. For that. the developer is giving a 5-acre tract of land that will be used for affordable housing. They plan to provide 100 units on the land that is located near Billings Clinic. This is a new approach for both the city and the developer and something the city hopes to continue as they try to find more attainable housing for the community. Construction on Turnrow is expected to begin in 2024.
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