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Even as median single-family home prices in Bozeman soar past $650,000 our city's lobbyists are busily employed in Helena attempting to subvert the spirit of free enterprise that built the housing that kept prices within reach of average-income households for Bozeman's first 150 years.

Our city is lobbying against allowing duplexes, rowhouses, and other types of "missing middle" housing that are innately more affordable, and which are currently banned across huge swaths of Bozeman's residential areas—the type of housing which our 2020 Community Plan says we should "promote the development of ... as one of the most critical components of affordable housing."

Our city is lobbying for inclusionary zoning, a scheme requiring subsidized housing with new developments (paid for by passing on the costs). The policy adds to the labyrinth of regulation that would-be home builders must navigate—for little benefit. The policy has yielded just 17 units of "Affordable" housing against an estimated need of 3,000 — even while putting home ownership further out of reach for middle-income households that earn too much to be subsidy-eligible.

Given the delays in housing construction from the city of Bozeman's perennial shortage of building inspectors, perhaps the city's lobbyists would be better employed as building inspectors.

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Mark Egge

Bozeman