Habitat for Humanity and Missoula Land Trust Team up on Affordable Housing

The partnership will ensure the new homes will remain affordable for future buyers.

1 minute read

February 22, 2024, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Habitat for Humanity volunteers in construction helmets buildign a wood-frame house.

Habitat For Humanity volunteers constructing a house during the 2007 Fremont Fair, Seattle, Washington. | Jmabel, GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html, via Wikimedia Commons / Habitat for Humanity

A new housing development in Missoula, Montana is using a unique model to ensure the newly built triplex will be affordable for generations to come.

As Katie Fairbanks explains in Montana Free Press, the project is a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the North Missoula Community Development Corporation’s land trust.  “The project goes back to 2021, when the previous property owners, Marilyn Marler and David Schmetterling, reached out to NMCDC about bringing their rental property into the land trust, Brittany Palmer, the non-profit’s executive director, told Montana Free Press. The couple wanted to keep or expand the home’s affordability without displacing their long-term tenant, Palmer said.”

The NMCDC purchased the property with the help of a federal grant and will offer the new units at a lower cost. “Community land trusts offer homes at more affordable rates because the value of the land doesn’t factor into the price, according to NMCDC’s website. When they’re ready to move, the homeowner agrees to sell the home at a restricted price to keep it affordable.”

The project is the first multifamily Habitat project in the city and includes features that make the buildings ore sustainable and efficient. “Going forward, Habitat is looking to use the land trust model for more projects to keep them in the affordable housing pool.”

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