Downtown Billings and the East Billings Urban Renewal District (EBURD) could add up to 400 new housing units over the next ten years, according to the recently released Downtown Billings Housing Strategy Report. Short-term demand for rental units and longer-term demand for ownership housing are being driven by an increasing preference for compact, walkable communities near services, entertainment, and shopping – particularly among Millennials and Baby Boomers. Fifty percent of Downtown employees surveyed indicated an interest in living Downtown if suitable housing was available. The study suggests Downtown can accommodate a diversity of housing types; recommends possible locations where development might flourish; and analyzes the feasibility of three housing concepts.
Well maintained housing adds value and makes a community a more attractive place to live. Quality housing that is affordable and available is essential to attracting a workforce to a community. The housing stock of a community is therefore a key to bringing that workforce to the community.
The programs available can assist to fund new construction of affordable housing, rehabilitation of existing housing units, and first time homebuyer assistance. Available funding for these programs is competitive and subject to eligibility based on funding agency guidelines.
The Community Development Department at Big Sky Economic Development Authority takes part in many programs that work towards affordable housing goals for our region. These have included first-time homebuyer assistance in Laurel as well as housing rehabilitation projects in Worden-Ballantine, Laurel and Lockwood.
See County Grants page and click on links for details:
- CDBG (Community Development Block Grant)
- Montana HOME Investment Partnership Program
- USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Rural Housing Services