Menu

Spotlight

Big Sky, Montana: Community Housing

Kattherine House on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

In Montana, the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded many of the discussions and initiatives around affordable housing, referred to locally as “community housing.” Like other resort areas, the Big Sky area has a high percentage of affluent second-home owners and a large percentage of in-commuters who cannot afford to live where they work, according to CEO Candace Carr Strauss.

In 2013, the chamber acted as a project manager for a citizens’ group that was studying and discussing the issue, making it eligible to receive funds from the local resort area tax district to fund an affordable work force housing study. The study, prepared by a consultant, made several recommendations, including that the area form a non-profit organization dedicated to the issue.

One of the next steps was submitting an application for a Community Development Block Grant. The chamber teamed with a local county to apply for a grant to fund a preliminary architectural report designed to address issues such as site options and preliminary architectural renderings. It was the chamber that provided the required matching funds; the application was successful.

In 2016, the Big Sky Community Housing Trust was formed to function as a land trust to provide affordable housing units via acquisition of property. The chamber contracted with a non-profit community action agency to provide a half-time employee to manage the trust. Town halls put on by the chamber followed, as well as a Big Sky Housing Action Plan prepared by a consultant. Now, after years of planning, education and laying the groundwork, Big Sky is well on its way to development of a community housing project. In 2018, the Community Housing Trust received $1.945 million in appropriations from the Big Sky Resort Area District and was able to sign an agreement with a developer to acquire land for a 52-unit affordable housing project.

 

Read more:
Learn how chambers in university towns, resort communities and fast-growing locales are among those seeking solutions for affordable housing. Click here to read the cover story, "Workforce Housing," from the fall 2018 issue of Chamber Executive.

 

 

 

OFFICIAL CORPORATE SPONSORS
Accrisoft is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE American Express is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Aventura World by Central Holidays West is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Benfits Trust is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Citslinc is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Collette is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Grow With Google is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE New Insperity Market Street Services is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives The U.S. Chamber is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Vistage is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE
SILVER SPONSORS
Avalanche Consulting sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives CardConnect sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Constant Contact POWER 10 sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives United Networks of America is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE YouScience sponsor ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives