The Government Mandate Raising Housing Costs
"While many factors are contributing to the housing crisis, one significant factor is one-size-fits-all government mandates which prohibit starter homes or makes them more expensive than they otherwise would be."
There’s no doubt about it, skyrocketing housing costs are pricing hardworking Montanans out of our communities.
While many factors are contributing to the housing crisis, one significant factor is one-size-fits-all government mandates which prohibit starter homes or makes them more expensive than they otherwise would be.
Frontier Institute President & CEO, Kendall Cotton joined other Pro-Housing leaders this week in meeting with Governor Gianforte to discuss these barriers to affordable starter homes.
One example is Excessive Minimum Lot Sizes, a common zoning restriction implemented by governments which force property owners to keep lot sizes larger than they might need. The result is larger, more expensive lots. In places like Bozeman, each additional 1000 square feet of lot size mandated by government can raise the cost of a home by anywhere from $46,000 to $69,000!
This is why Representative Katie Zolnikov introduced HB 337, a bill which protects Montanans’ property rights by putting sideboards on government’s ability to mandate Excessive Minimum Lot Sizes in cities.
You can check out our testimony in support of HB 337 during the bill’s first Committee hearing here:
As the 2023 Legislative Session continues we look forward to doing more work to address the housing crisis by strengthening Montanans property rights. Stay tuned as I will continue to provide you updates on this work.
MTLeg Weekly Debrief: Week Of Jan 30 – Feb 3
SB 214 requires Montana to automatically recognize a license for an audiologist or speech-language pathologist from another state in the Audio and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact. Learn more here.
SB 227 follows Frontier Institute and the Montana Housing Task Force’s recommendation for state and local governments to pursue creating self-certification programs to speed up permit reviews. Learn more here.
HB 313 authorizes physician assistants (PA’s) to practice independently, without requiring the supervision of doctors. Learn more here.
HB 324 would place a limit on the growth of local government budgets to protect taxpayers. Learn more here.
HB 326 seeks to rebalance the Judicial Standards Commission (JSC), the oversight body for the Judiciary, to ensure greater independent oversight. Learn more here.
HB 337 follows Frontier Institute recommendation to implement Recommendation 2A from the Montana Housing Task Force, which would prohibit excessive minimum lot areas in cities greater than 2,500 sq ft. in areas served by water and sewer. Learn more here.
Is K.I.T.T Finally Coming to Montana?
On Wednesday, the House Transportation Committee had its first hearing on HB 339 – establishing laws around autonomous vehicles. Sponsored by Rep. Denley M Loge, the bill will allow autonomous vehicles (AV) to operate in the state. The bill requires the car manufacturer or developer to be liable for Level 3 AVs and prohibits Level 4 and 5 AVs without regulation. AVs have various levels of automation. Under Level 3 automation, the human sitting in the driver’s seat is relieved of all driving duties but must be ready and able to take back control if reasonably requested.
Our Take: HB 339 is the first step toward opening Montana to the innovative technologies transforming the transportation industry. While more work will have to be done, HB 339 will provide innovative transportation companies the liability clarification to begin operating in Montana.
Graphic of the Week