HELENA, Mont. - Over the last few days the Governor Greg Gianforte has signed several bills into law.
One piece of legislation is in regards to affordable housing. Its House Bill 259, written by Billings Republican, Representative Sue Vinton.
HB259 is titled “Revised property and zoning laws.” The first line of the bill says in part that “this is an act prohibiting a local government from requiring builders.. providing housing for specified income levels”
Essentially this bill that was signed into law prevents local governments from adopting ordinances that require affordable housing to be developed as part of large build operations.
The City of Bozeman has ordinances like this, which requires that 10% of new developments of 10 or home be affordable homes.
The website Bozeman community housing says 17 affordable homes have been built since the city ordinance went into place in 2018, the average market value of those affordable homes are $238,000. According to the Bozeman Real Estate Group the median housing price for a single-family home is about $658,000.
The groups says homes available for sale in the area has been on the decline since 2016, but between May and November of this year, they saw the number of homes for sale in Bozeman drop almost 30%.
They also say on their website they do a large portion of their business from out-of-state buyers.
Language in HB259 says it goes into effect immediately following the passing or signature of the bill.