Governor’s Housing Task Force to Bring Forward Policy Suggestions

Jul 02, 2024

It comes as no surprise that Montana is experiencing a housing crisis. There are many factors that affect the availability and affordability of housing, such as lack of available construction labor, zoning restrictions, falling rental vacancy rates, increasing rents, and much more. In June 2023, Governor Gianforte extended his Housing Task Force to continue meeting until June 2025 to continue examining the Montana housing crisis and suggest policy changes.

This June, the Governor’s Housing Task Force met to review and discuss a draft report of their final 23 recommendations to Governor Gianforte to help promote and sustain affordable housing in Montana. The meeting closed with very little dissent on the suggestions and received overwhelming support from the group. Three suggestions that will likely have the largest effect on the availability of affordable housing in Montana stand out.  

Priority Recommendations

Recommendations for Recommendations

Although the above three suggestions will benefit Montana’s state of housing, there is always room for improvement. The Housing Montana Fund investment must be at least $50 million dollars in funding and to allow the Housing Montana Fund to make grants in addition to loans. For The Montana Housing Tax Credit Program, the Montana Legislature should fund a tax credit of at least $1.5 million per year.

Last, the Coal Trust Multifamily Homes Program should be allocated at least $50 million in funding, and loans should NOT be in the first lien position, making the program more flexible and user-friendly to both developers and the Board of Housing. In the first lien position, if there was ever a situation where the property needed to be sold, the holder of the first position would receive payment first.

The Governor’s Housing Task Force will convene in the near future to present their final report and recommendations to Governor Gianforte. Now is the time to reach out to the Task Force and ask them to prioritize allocating funds to the Housing Montana Fund, establishing a Montana Housing Tax Credit Program, and authorize additional funds for the Coal Trust Multifamily Homes Program.

Montana Budget & Policy Center

Shaping policy for a stronger Montana.

MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.