Address Affordability by Creating More Housing

Address Affordability by Creating More Housing

A new report provides an enlightening overview of the ways in which regulations are driving up the cost of housing in Bozeman.

“Progress is precisely that which rules and regulations did not foresee.” – Ludwig Von Mises

A new report now out for public review details how Bozeman’s onerous housing regulations stifle housing development and worsen the city’s affordable housing challenges. The authors of the report say the supply of housing is the fundamental challenge to Bozeman’s market:

“While additional housing supply is not the only change needed to improve affordability, it is very difficult to see how affordability can improve without additional supply being part of the solution.”

The report provides specific recommendations that city officials can take to create more housing, including:

  • Reduce areas zoned only for single-family style homes and/or allow for more dense units to be developed where appropriate in existing single-family zoning districts. This is referred to as “upzoning.”
  • Simplifying or eliminating numerous building mandates that drive up the costs of housing, such as: minimum lot sizes, lot area requirements, minimum building setbacks, maximum height limitations, floor area ratio (FAR) limitations, minimum open space standards, maximum lot coverage, and maximum rear lot coverage.
  • Eliminate or reduce parking mandates, which were “cited more frequently than any other element as increasing housing development costs”:

  • Speed up development reviews by reducing paperwork requirements and allowing for expedited plan reviews for any new residential development up to 12 units.

This report provides an enlightening overview of the ways in which regulations are driving up the cost of housing in Bozeman – and why policymakers must focus on reducing housing regulations if we ever hope to address our crises of affordability.

For Liberty,

Kendall Cotton

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  1. Property taxes are going up for Missoula County residents in order to afford nearly $7 million in additional spending added to the county’s 2022 budget. In addition to raising taxes, the County will be using additional revenue brought in due to rising property values to fund spending increases:

“Property value increases will help the county cover increases in its budget, county officials said.”

Our Take: Missoula officials have spent the last year doing everything they can to deflect blame for rising property taxes, blaming the state reappraisal process and limits on their use of sales taxes. But as this year’s budget indicates, the fundamental problem driving up property taxes is reckless spending growth. Local officials have no one to blame for that but themselves.

Cross-State Telehealth

  1. Patients across the nation are struggling to continue accessing telehealth as emergency orders end and medical licensing regulations creep back into the picture, putting up roadblocks for patients receiving care from doctors located in another state.

“If you live in one state, does it matter that the doctor treating you online is in another? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the ability to conduct certain virtual appointments may be nearing an end.”

Our Take: Our recent policy brief details how this problem effects Montanans and the simple change policymakers can make to fix this.

Expanding Healthcare

  1. Governor Gianforte, the Montana legislature and Frontier Institute received a shoutout in Forbes for work done tearing down regulations that restrict the supply for healthcare:

“By repealing CON regulations, permanently expanding telehealth and authorizing Direct Patient Care, Montana’s leadership have ushered in one of the most dramatic expansions of healthcare access in recent memory.”

Our Take: As healthcare shortages wreak havoc across the state amidst a surge in COVID, Montana’s healthcare system is more resilient thanks to the work done this spring to break down barriers to healthcare access.

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