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Affordable Housing

Tiny home village roundtable held in September

News from Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana

MONTANA – The lack of affordable housing in Northwest Montana is quickly reaching crisis proportions. Since 2014 average home sales prices have increased as much as 32.7 percent in Eureka (to $304,353) to as little as 8.1 percent in Columbia Falls ($253,472). In contrast, overall average wage increases during this same three-year period were substantially lower ($0.08 percent in Lincoln, 4.5 percent in Lake, 5.3 percent in Flathead and 5.5 percent in Sanders). Consequently, the region’s housing affordability gap grows daily and this in turn causes more people to become homeless. 

In response, the Community Action Partnership of NW Montana has been awarded two national grants to research practical and affordable rental housing options. Rural LISC and the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation have each invested in CAPNM exploring the feasibility of creating one or more tiny home “villages” across NW Montana. One of the project’s outcomes is to engage local elected and appointed officials, bankers, tiny home owners/builders and design/development professionals in a series of “roundtable” discussions to identify all potential obstacles and possible solutions to developing tiny home villages.

Between the months of June and September 2018 CAPNM staff has organized four half-day design and development roundtable discussions involving representatives from the CAPNM Board of Directors and rural elected officials along with professionals from architecture, banking, engineering, environmental health, homebuilding, real estate, etc. to explore the policy and procedure options for creating more affordable housing through especially tiny home villages. These half-day roundtables will explore critical local planning and development questions or issues surrounding the creation of tiny home villages under current policy and regulatory requirements and explore options for gaining outright permission. This mix of professionals in a confidential setting is designed to promote meaningful dialogue and creative solutions.

This September CAPNM staff will be organizing a Roundtable in Lincoln County. To learn more contact Patrick Malone at 406.752.6565 or pmalone@capnwmt.org.

 

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