Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

A New Solution: Bozeman’s First Affordable Housing Director

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman’s Affordable Housing Action Plan pinpointed several major strategies to implement over a 5-year timespan (2012-2016). Its purpose was to work on providing more affordable housing units and down payment assistance for both renters and homeowners alike. While this plan outlined several goals that were partially met by the end of 2016, affordable housing in Bozeman is still a significant issue that needs continued attention and work in the future.

In 2010, 28% of homeowners and 49% of renters in Bozeman were living in unaffordable housing, when using the widely accepted benchmark amount of <33% of total income for homeowners and <30% of total income for renters. It’s important to note, however, that there is no universal home price or rent benchmark that defines “affordable”— this varies by income level and should be based on ability to pay.

 By 2015, at least 4,000 of the city’s 8,400 renters were paying rents at or above the 30% threshold, while a third of homeowners were paying at least that much, if not more.

Is Something Being Done to Help?

With these statistics not having improved much in recent years, the City of Bozeman has decided to hire its first affordable housing director. The person who will fill this new position (expected to begin by the end of January) will be responsible for generating solutions to help reduce the gap between the cost of housing and how much many Bozeman residents can afford to pay.

Six months ago, Bozeman planning adopted a new rule that mandated that builders and developers would have to either sell 3 in 10 homes in new developments at $260,000 or less, OR 1 in 10 homes at $215,000 or less, subject to change based number of bedrooms per unit. The city has been trying to keep up with this rule, which is where the need for an affordable housing director stems from.

Additionally, the new director will help to track housing projects from the time a building permit is issued to the time that someone closes on their home, in order to ensure that this 6-month-old rule is followed from start to end.

As 2018 unfolds, it will be interesting to see how this new position begins to change the affordable housing market and what impacts it will have on many of Bozeman’s renters and homeowners who are currently above the income threshold for housing. 

Bozeman Approves Cottage Housing to Improve Home Affordability

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The City of Bozeman has passed a proposal to create smaller, cottage style homes to add lower priced inventory to Bozeman’s real estate market. Bozeman has been addressing home affordability in town for some time, including passing an inclusive zoning ordinance, while continuing to approve additional developments.

The general proposal encourages homes between 1,000 and 1,200 square feet, built surrounding the edges of a property, with an interior, shared common space between them. The design would aim towards using the land more efficiently, fitting many more units per acre with a clustered living style. The design creates a pseudo courtyard feel, with buildings surrounding a natural space.

Growing homes have, at the very least, contributed to growing home prices in Bozeman.  Since 1950, the average square feet for a Bozeman home has doubled, while the average household size has actually shrunk. As buyers have searched for bigger homes year over year, builders have obliged, requiring lower end buyers to buy more home or return to the rental market. Allowing builders more opportunities to create smaller homes will help renters and condo owners get more opportunities to own a detached home. 

The new proposal would also allow for infill development from Bozeman property owners and developers as well. City officials believe cottage housing will improve density, while avoiding large apartments and other urban designs. Previous ordinances had funneled developers into building condos. Condo owners own their own units, but not the exteriors or the land beneath them. The cottage homes would make detached homes more affordable while also giving home buyers the opportunity for land ownership.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-pondering-cottage-housing-ordinance-to-provide-affordable-homes/article_d987b65f-87af-5e23-a661-708e91461a8c.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-commission-delays-discussion-on-vacation-rentals-food-trucks/article_08f615da-3309-55fb-a406-4579ab709237.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-city-commission-approves-cottage-housing-ordinance/article_52afe981-a29c-5540-a84c-39d60b57c4cf.html

 

Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County to Coordinate Land Planning Efforts

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Gallatin County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new committee designed to improve coordination between Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County planners. The Bozeman City Commission and the Belgrade City Council are planning on approving similar measures in the coming weeks.

The new committee has been approved to help the whole valley better address the rapid growth seen in the area in the past few years. Both Bozeman and Belgrade real estate markets have been extremely fast paced and new residents come almost daily to Bozeman or Belgrade.

Currently, incorporated cities like Bozeman and Belgrade are responsible for planning and development within their own borders. The Gallatin County generally takes care of planning and development in unincorporated areas of the county. Now, the new committee will help direct planning efforts between the cities and the county, helping keep the overall growth organized and positive.

The idea first took form in 2014, from a study that suggested an overarching committee coupled with frequently updated formal growth plans would be necessary to grow effectively. Before this, land use planning had not been formally addressed between the three governments.

The committee will help the governments share information and discuss planning issues before they become bigger problems. The committee will meet a few times a year and will serve in an advisory role to the three governments.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/county-endorses-planning-coordination-with-bozeman-belgrade/article_b1eb8e5a-1eaa-5868-8a52-3465411f6fbe.html

The Bozeman City Commission will vote on Monday night on whether to approve new changes for city street and tree maintenance fees. If passed, Bozeman homeowners will either have to pay more  or less per year, depending on where they live. The City Commission proposed a 6.39% increase to the overall maintenance budget, but not everyone will see the increases reflected in their taxes. When the city initially proposed the change, they called for a 10% increase to these taxes in order to bring in the necessary revenue. However, after implementing a new system and formula for gathering these fees, the city was able to lower the proposed increase to 6.39% while still bringing in the same revenue as before. The new formula will provide a more than $315,000 increase for street maintenance while adding $9,700 dollars to the tree maintenance budget. Some Bozeman property owners will see their bills be less than before. Fifteen percent of property owners in the City of Bozeman will see their fees increase.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Syndication

Categories

Archives