Workforce Housing Program
NEW! MRA Workforce Housing Program
The MRA Board approved a Workforce Housing Program at the MRA Board meeting on September 21, 2023. Developers and community members who are interested in learning more about this new pilot program should contact MRA Deputy Director Annie Gorski: firstname.lastname@example.org and (406) 552-6155.
What is workforce housing and how can TIF be used to support it?
In 2021, the Montana Code Annotated, which guides the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Montana, was amended to add “workforce housing,” to the definition of infrastructure. In 2023, the state further defined workforce housing as serving individuals or families earning between 60-140% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In Missoula County, this equates to an income of $51,840-$120,960 for a family of four. There are very few developers building workforce housing in Missoula and very limited state and local resources to encourage construction of this type of housing. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency Board directed staff to develop program guidelines to support acquisition, construction, and improvements to workforce housing.
Missoula is the first City in Montana to utilize TIF for workforce housing. The workforce housing guidelines expand TIF eligibility to support housing to include bricks and mortar (vertical construction) of housing. Visit the August 2023 Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this new program. An expanded Frequently Asked Questions will be posted to this website soon.
Additional TIF Investments to Support Housing in Missoula
MRA invests TIF in building deconstruction and public improvements in the right of way (water, sewer, streets, sidewalks, street trees) to support private and non-profit housing projects, as well as investment in publicly owned housing in urban renewal districts (URDs).
Since 1978, the MRA has dedicated more than $17M in public infrastructure to support construction of an estimated 2,469 new housing units that are completed, planned, or underway. Just under 50% of those units, because of requirements from another funding source, have a deed or use restriction requiring them to remain affordable. Additionally, TIF infrastructure funding was utilized to construct temporary housing for individuals experiencing crisis, including the Poverello Center and YWCA Women’s Shelter, as well as publicly owned housing through the Missoula Housing Authority, such as the Garden District Housing Project on S. Catlin St.
See the graphic below for a breakout of housing projects that MRA has invested in since 1978. For a complete list of all MRA projects, including housing projects, visit our Project List.