New Land Trust Addresses Housing Shortage in Montana

March 28, 2016
Homeownership in Montana rarely receives wide attention, but an acute shortage in affordable housing the Big Sky section of the state has resulted in a new endeavor to alleviate some of that market’s problems

Homeownership in Montana rarely receives wide attention, but an acute shortage in affordable housing the Big Sky section of the state has resulted in a new endeavor to alleviate some of that market’s problems.

According to an NBC Montana report, the newly-formed Big Sky Community Housing Trust has been designed to function as a land trust that will provide permanently affordable housing units via the acquisition of property, which will removed from the for-profit real estate market. The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce reported that the average sale price of a housing unit for this market is close to $900,000, which is unaffordable for many people that hold full-time work in the area.

"The cost is expensive, the down payment is expensive, the homeowner dues and the property taxes," said Kitty Clemens, executive director of the Chamber, adding that 83 percent of full-time employees in Big Sky have to commute because they cannot afford local housing.

The first part of this project has been provided in a land donation from a local family, which will be used to provide housing for local public safety workers and teachers. The proposed housing will be divided between rental properties and multifamily housing.

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