“In My Backyard: Equitable Homes for All” is a two-part series of free public meetings hosted by the League of Women Voters designed to explore two essential questions in meeting our housing crisis: How do we finance housing to bring down the cost and where do we put it? Missoula is facing a housing crisis. Nearly half of Missoula households are paying more than 30% of their income to cover the costs of housing, while the city is growing at a rate of about 2% per year, putting even more demand on our housing resources. How can we provide homes for everyone that fit the range of household budgets?
Part One of the series of free public meetings on October 30 provides the basics of financing tools available to lower the cost of a housing unit, both rental or ownership. Kaia Peterson of NeighborWorks Montana will present the fundamental tools available in Missoula to lower the cost of housing for renters and homeowners. Veronica Stevens of Clearwater Credit Union will explain how these tools work for renters and first-time homebuyers. Barbara Callaghan of First Security Bank will explain how the tools work in building new housing developments, and Tyson O’Connell of Rocky Mountain Development Group will discuss other tools available elsewhere that could be used here.
Part Two of the series of free public meetings on Wednesday, November 6, focuses on the question of where Missoula can add housing units. After a brief presentation on the variety of housing currently present in Missoula, people will work in small groups on a housing plan for a hypothetical neighborhood. What qualities of existing neighborhoods should be preserved as Missoula moves into the next 20 years of growth? What are the opportunities? What are the constraints? The League of Women Voters invites Missoula residents to grapple with the challenges of creating housing units to meet the needs of Missoula’s expected growth.