"Of the cities examined, 70% of primary residential areas either outright prohibit or penalize affordable multi-family housing development."
“We need a greater mix of housing types to meet differing income and generational needs. This is where Missing Middle Housing can change the conversation.” – Debra Bassert, National Association of Home Builders
Last week the Frontier Institute launched the Montana Zoning Atlas, a new interactive resource that demonstrates how strict local zoning regulations exclude low and middle-income residents and worsen Montana’s housing shortage.
The Atlas examines the use of Single Family Zoning and Minimum Lot Areas – two common types of exclusionary zoning regulations – within the city limits of Bozeman, Missoula, Kalispell, Whitefish, Billings and Helena.
Frontier Institute President and CEO Kendall Cotton made the following statement in response to the new report:
“It’s time for Montana leaders to put an end to exclusionary zoning practices that tell workers, renters and young families who want affordable home options that they aren’t welcome in our cities. Our proposals will give landowners the freedom to build new homes where they are needed most, at no cost to taxpayers.”
Of the cities examined, 70% of primary residential areas either outright prohibit or penalize affordable multi-family housing development.
The report also provides a list of reforms:
- Restoring landowners’ right to build two-to-four family housing in city zones which currently only permit single-family homes
- Eliminating Minimum Lot Area Requirements
- Prohibiting Minimum Lot Areas greater than 1/8 of an acre (approx. 5500 sq ft) and Minimum Lot Widths greater than 40 ft. in areas already connected to water and sewer.
You can click here to see how all the cities evaluated in our report compare in their receptiveness to affordable housing.
The Case for Pro-Housing Reforms
This week the Frontier Institute released a new feature as part of our ongoing series highlighting the real stories of Montanans struggling under the burden of onerous government regulations. Jim Applebee is a real estate agent and developer in Bozeman, Montana. Jim’s story makes the case of why Montana needs pro-housing reforms.
“When you have a changing, complex, and restrictive zoning code, it creates a moving target, and it’s harder for everybody including the planners, developers, builders, architects and the engineers. Streamlining the process in any way would be a significant factor in saving time and money, and the most important thing – bringing more affordable homes to the market quicker.”
Why Physicians Are Quitting Medicare
In healthcare entrepreneur Jack Brown’s latest column, he discusses the issues with Medicare reimbursements and why so many physicians are declining to accept it. You can read the entire article here.
“To continue seeing Medicare patients, while remaining solvent, physicians are forced to do more with fewer resources. Physicians find themselves faced with an increasingly bureaucratic regulatory nightmare, forcing them to choose between providing good medical care, or playing the “Medicare game” to survive.
Montana Zoning Atlas Editorial
This week the Daily Inter Lake wrote an editorial on The Montana Zoning Atlas. This is an important milestone in furthering the conversation toward removing regulatory barriers to new affordable housing.
“We challenge city and county officials to take a hard look at the study to see what can be done locally to encourage the medium-density housing that would produce the homes we need for the families who want to live here. Then work to rewrite zoning codes, as necessary, to make it easier for denser housing to be developed.”