Bill Henry

I read your article, "Missoula Delegation: Housing Task Force Recommendations Could Boost Housing Supply," and wanted to counter the view that not building affordable housing will lead to filtration through the market.

There are a number of real estate investors that are purchasing those $250,000 homes on the low end of the chain that open up. To do so, they typically out bid regular Montanans to turn these homes into either long or short-term rentals.

This prevents regular Montanans from accessing those wealth creating opportunities.  We must continue to build affordable housing side-by-side with market rate housing.

Organizations, like community land trusts, that prevent the speculative market from purchasing homes, are beneficial to the supply of starter homes in this state. CLTs are also subsidy retention programs, so the subsidy that is spent during development can help not just the first family, but every family for the life of the home.

Nationally, 6 out of 10 community land trust homeowners move on to purchase market rate homes.

Bill Henry is the Stewardship and Projects Coordinator for Trust Montana.