Bozeman City Hall

Bozeman City Hall is seen on July 6, 2016.

The city of Bozeman will put $240,000 toward a nonprofit’s development of townhomes for buyers with paychecks that don’t cover the town’s rising entry cost.

Willow Springs Townhomes, a Human Resource Development Council project, will include 24 homes on a less than 3-acre site at Hoover Way and Sartain Street.

City commissioners agreed Monday to use $240,000 out of the Bozeman workforce housing fund to cover some of the cost to build the development’s first 12 homes.

“We’ve been working in partnership with HRDC for more than two years and we’re glad to see this on the agenda tonight,” said City Manager Andrea Surratt.

Monday’s action was a long time coming. The commission approved the development last year and the nonprofit requested city support in April.

HRDC split the project into two sections when it came in over-budget with the first 12 homes under construction now. The finished project won’t require another city subsidy, according to city documents. During an August groundbreaking, HRDC President Heather Grenier said the development’s two-bedroom homes will sell for roughly $217,000 and three-bedroom homes will go for $243,000.

As part of the city grant agreement, HRDC will place the property in a community land trust so each home remains affordable when they return to the housing market.

While some Montana towns are trying to retain their populations, Bozeman is among those trying to learn how to afford its popularity.

It takes twice the income today — $104,000 — than it did in 2012 to buy Bozeman’s median priced home, according to the city’s latest housing assessment.

The median price for a single-family home sold in Bozeman last year was more than $425,000. Townhomes came in at $334,000.

In the last budget update, the city increased how much it collects for housing efforts from roughly $300,000 a year to $500,000.

That fund has gone toward projects like Larkspur Commons, in which the city offered $200,000 toward the $21 million development of affordable rentals. It’s the same pot of money the city pulls from to help first-time home buyers afford a down payment.

Bozeman is updating its housing action plan. A draft of that document, which will outline the city’s housing goals and steps to come, is expected to go up on the city website this week.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

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