Bozeman City Hall

Bozeman City Hall is seen on July 6, 2016.

Bozeman city commissioners will decide Monday whether to accept the city’s next housing plan, which lays out what the government and others can do to connect people with homes they can afford.

City staff will present Bozeman’s draft Community Housing Action Plan and a framework to work with businesses and the housing industry pipeline to reduce some of the town’s housing woes over the next five years.

Commissioners will decide whether to accept the plan that’s been in the works since April.

City Manager Andrea Surratt said commissioners will likely tell staff how to prioritize the plan’s ideas.

“We want to do as much as we have control over and the commission needs to tell us in what order,” Surratt said. “This is like a menu and they’re choosing their favorites and those that have the greatest ability to be successful right out of the gate.”

The draft suggests the city find more money for housing efforts, create a route to make it easier to keep units affordable for the long run, and expand the city’s housing mandate to have developers build condominiums and rentals below market rates.

It also talks about finding more ways for the town’s employers to play a role in helping people find housing.

City staff and consultants began work on the action plan this spring soon after Bozeman finished its snapshot of what the housing market has and what it’s missing.

That assessment showed while development is on track to build the homes needed for the town’s swelling population, those places will come at a price higher than what many can afford.

The plan was designed by consultants and workshopped through a cohort of professionals in Bozeman. That included people in banking, real estate, building, social work, representatives of the town’s interfaith community and major employers.

Commissioner Terry Cunningham represented the city’s elected officials and Gallatin County Commissioner Scott MacFarlane represented the county.

The city released the draft plan for public review on Oct. 18.

Community Development Director Mart Matsen and the city consultants will deliver the plan to commissioners Monday.

The city is once again on the search for a new affordable housing manager after the firing of Loren Olsen last week.

Surratt said in a Friday interview she could not say why Olsen was fired just seven months into the job.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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