Construction is now underway at a site just south of Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport which is set to bring over 100 units of workforce housing to the area.
“I was on a waiting list for three months to find a place to live,” says Bozeman Health System Director of Human Resources, Sandra Hare.
Having recently moved back from Texas, Hare knows firsthand the struggle to find a place to live in the Valley.
“It was astounding to me. I was on waitlists all over town. I was fascinated that people had to pay $200 to be on a waitlist,” says Hare.
The high cost of living has driven some employees to leave the area, Bozeman Health partnered with ERES Capital to secure housing at this site now under construction in Belgrade.
“They're worried that they can't stay; we've actually had employees that have had to leave and I see a lot of people moving back home,” says Hare.
Mike Elliott, CEO of ERES Capital says 40% of the units have already been pre-leased by employers in the area, Bozeman Health being one of them.
“168 units, ones, twos, threes in four bedrooms. It's actually only four-bedroom units in the market,” says Elliott.
Elliot says this is a unique project where developers and employers work together.
“Working with employers to help with their housing solutions for employees, so we will do move-ins and move-outs,” says Elliott.
Even before dirt was moving at the site in Belgrade there was interest from staff at Bozeman Health.
“People that started signing up at that point in time,” says Hare.
Hare says the Healthcare industry has seen a lot of changes in the last few years; they are optimistic that securing housing for current and future employers will take the weight off.
“Healthcare systems everywhere in the county are having to take on this new model of helping their employees find affordable housing,” says Hare.
The project will be completed in two phases: construction on phase 1 is expected to last about 16 months and phase two should kick off soon after.