“Equitable Homes for All” Subject of Two Public Meetings

Missoula is facing a housing crisis.  Data from the 2019 Annual Missoula Housing Report of the Missoula Organization of Realtors indicate that the median price of a home increased 39% over the past 10 years, shutting out many first-time homebuyers.  Nearly 49% of renter households are paying more than 30% of their income to cover rent and utilities.  The number of homeless children in the Missoula County Public Schools was estimated at 500 during the 2017-18 school year, up 14 percent from the previous year. How can Missoula provide homes for everyone that fit the range of household budgets?

“In My Backyard: Equitable Homes for All” is a two-part series of free public meetings hosted by the League of Women Voters and cosponsored by the Missoula Home Coalition designed to explore two essential questions in meeting the housing crisis:  How do we finance housing to bring down the cost and where do we put it?

Part One on Wednesday, October 30, 7:00-8:30 pm in the Missoula Public Library, provides the basics of financing tools available to lower the cost of homes, both rental and ownership.  Kaia Peterson of NeighborWorks Montana will present the fundamental tools available in Missoula to lower the cost of homes for renters and homeowners.  Veronica Stevens of Clearwater Credit Union will explain how these tools work for renters and first-time homebuyers.  Barbara Callaghan of First Security Bank will explain how the tools work in building new housing developments, and Tyson O’Connell of Rocky Mountain Development Group will discuss other tools available elsewhere that could be used here.

Part Two of the series of free public meetings on Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00-8:30 pm in the Missoula Public Library, focuses on the question of where Missoula can add housing units.  After a brief presentation on the variety of housing currently present in Missoula, people will work in small groups on a housing plan for a hypothetical neighborhood.  What qualities of existing neighborhoods should be considered as Missoula moves into the next 20 years of growth? What are the opportunities?  What are the constraints?  The League of Women Voters and the Missoula Home Coalition created this opportunity for Missoula residents to grapple with the challenges of creating homes to meet the needs of Missoula’s expected growth.  For more information, contact:  Nancy Leifer, co-president League of Women Voters Missoula, at nancleifer@gmail.com.