The City of Bozeman is wrestling with the concept of affordable housing. We’re booming – and prices of homes continue to rise. What is to be done? The City is looking for input. This article has a link at the bottom to a SurveyMonkey that the city is looking for input on. More meetings to be scheduled in January.
Bozeman looks for input on affordable housing issue
How much money do people need to make before they can afford to buy a house in Bozeman?
Thirty-thousand a year?
One hundred thousand?
The question was one of several raised Tuesday by Daniel Werwath of Werwath Associates, a consulting firm working with the city to develop recommendations for combating Bozeman’s soaring housing costs. The meeting, attended by more than two dozen community members, was an effort to solicit input from the public.
No one present questioned that the city has a problem with housing affordability — and a growing one.
In 2012, nearly half of homes sold in Bozeman were priced at less than $250,000, Werwath said, citing data from the Gallatin Association of Realtors. So far this year, more than 80 percent have been above that price.
Additionally, the 2010 census estimated that more than 6,000 Bozeman households — 28 percent of homeowners and 49 percent of renters — were living in housing that cost more than 30 percent of their income, the typically accepted threshold for affordability.
Solutions, however, aren’t necessarily straightforward.
Another public meeting will be held in January to discuss preliminary recommendations, Werwath said, and a full report will be presented to the City Commission in February. He and city officials are also seeking input through a brief online survey, accessible at surveymonkey.com/s/bozemaninput.
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