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Bozeman residents seek to address affordable housing shortage with ballot initiative

Bozeman Residents .jpg
Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 12:14:28-04

BOZEMAN — A new effort is underway to bring more affordable housing to Bozeman.

A group of Bozeman residents is trying to get an initiative on the ballot that would link water rights with affordable housing. Organizers say they are getting creative after the legislature took away inclusionary zoning, which required a certain amount of affordable housing to be built within city limits.

This proposed initiative would require developments of two or more dwellings to provide their own water rights, rather than pay cash to the city as most currently do unless they include 33% or more of affordable housing.

Since water rights are hard to come by in Bozeman, the initiative would essentially ban developments that did not meet the requirements.

“We are probably one of the few groups that’s tried to link the two. Its purpose really is to promote water conservation while at the same time increasing the supply of affordable housing,” says Bozeman resident Dan Carty.

The initiative was submitted on Tuesday, and the group needs to collect more than 4,000 signatures for it to be on the November ballot.