We must focus on implementing solutions that guarantee permanently affordable housing for low-income residents. Inclusionary zoning requires developers to have a portion of newly constructed homes in residential areas set as permanently affordable for low-income households. Inclusionary zoning could be used in Missoula to ensure all new housing development requires affordable options.

However, the ability for local governments to implement inclusionary zoning is under attack in the legislature by House Bill 259. If passed, House Bill 259 will take away the most important tool that our local government could be using for securing affordable housing – inclusionary zoning.

For a just economic recovery after the pandemic, we need bold, brave solutions from our elected officials to have the resources for our community to thrive. Using our local government to pass an inclusionary zoning resolution, requiring at least 30% affordable housing units for all new housing development is imperative.

I am running for City Council to take action that is matched in severity to the housing crisis and economic struggles that Missoulians are facing. We must stop House Bill 259, and then the Missoula government must implement bold inclusionary zoning ordinances to ensure low-income Missoulians have adequate, secure, and affordable housing.