Affordable Housing

I will VOTE NO on the additional COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY to be proposed on this November’s ballot.  

I’m not proposing here that we cut any funding currently going towards Bozeman’s Affordable Housing efforts.

Instead I’m saying, “ENOUGH TAXES ALREADY !”

Why is the General Fund in crisis mode again already? Isn’t that part of the same story we heard about why the Parks & Trails District needed to have its own special tax?

What happened to the $2.3 million per year that was freed up in the General Fund when the Parks District was created – – just over a year ago?!

More to come on that……

ARGUMENTS AGAINST COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY:

  • PERMANENT
    • Make no mistake about it, once you vote this tax in, IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY.
    • If you vote against it, that does not mean you are voting against community housing.
    • It means you are telling City staff to continue to fund affordable housing out of the General Fund.
    • Which means there will be more pressure to try harder to make the problem go away.
      • And we do want the problem to go away, right?
        • Or are we saying that wealth redistribution is the only solution?
    • We hear a lot from the people who can’t make it or who are really struggling to make it.
      • What about the people who ARE making it?  We don’t hear much from them.  Maybe they have something to teach us. 
  • Bozeman Code Audit To Create and Preserve Housing
    • Indications are that some changes are probably needed to facilitate affordability:
      • if you watched the 07/13/2021 Commission Meeting, during the Community Housing Mill Levy discussion you will recall Public Comment reminding us that ……. in order to provide affordable housing …….. the Bridger View Redevelopment project required 19 relaxations to current subdivision and zoning regulations.
      • You may recall the very first project heralded as a success under the then-new inclusionary zoning ordinance, The Lakes at Valley West Phase 3, was a Planned Unit Development requesting 21 relaxations overall, with 3 of those being specific to affordable housing.

  • Metropolitan Area designation
    • Let’s wait for the effects of the Metropolitan Area designation to kick in and see how much federal money for housing Bozeman might receive. 
      • The reason people are flocking to Bozeman is less and less because Bozeman is so great and more and more because the places these people are fleeing from have become so terrible.
        • So a federal solution makes more sense.

  • Throwing good money after bad
    • What we’re currently doing isn’t working.   Even the experts at HRDC (who I know to be very sharp and resourceful) can’t be helped by the current programs.  
      • So isn’t this new tax just throwing more good money after bad?

  • Deed restricted property will create slums
    • For years I’ve heard that deed restrictions are a bad idea because they just exacerbate the problem by creating concentrated poverty and hampering the ability of low-income families to build wealth through equity.
    • But now deed restrictions are being showcased as a successful solution, specifically in the Midtown Tax Increment Financing District, which was recently heralded by this Commission as a great example of how to use this new Housing Tax on future projects throughout the City.

  • Davis Lift Station
    • The new sewer lift station in northwest Bozeman will open the door for thousands of housing units to be constructed.
      • We have time to wait – no other proposed solution is likely to occur any faster.

        More to come……..

4 thoughts on “Affordable Housing

    • Hello Coco! Thanks very much for your support. I could either drop them off at your place, or else we could have them ready for you in the lobby of the Lewis & Clark Motel at the corner of 8th and Main Street. Lisa will be expecting you if I’m not around. Thanks again, Coco!

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    • Hello Thomas –
      Well, I know the answer is supposed to be that high density infill is good for the community because it reduces sprawl and shortens the distance that people have to commute, etc., but I think at some point we’re going to have to say “enough is enough”.
      My Mom lives near Layton, Utah, and that area is starting to lean the other way on this philosophy – they are actually encouraging sprawl because high density infill is causing too much traffic congestion and is generally destroying the neighbors’ quality of life.
      On the other hand, it’s hard for me to blame the developer, because he is giving the City exactly what the City is asking for in its Growth Policy, etc., and of course most of those “guiding” documents are primarily created by high-paid consultants who are modeling Bozeman after other cities.
      So this gets back to what I say on my website when I ran in 2017 about how I won’t let consultants tell us what is good for us – we will decide that on our own.
      But again, it’s not fair to the developer to let him get too far along in the process before he is told “no”.
      A project like this – with so much obvious objection from a very large number of neighbors – needs to be nipped in the bud right away so that the developer doesn’t waste money on this idea and can instead find another location.
      A lot of the big city folks who will be buying these condos as a 2nd or 3rd or 4th “homes” (I’m assuming…..) will most likely be just as happy living out by the new Billings Health Hospital or somewhere around there.
      There is a still a nice view of the Bridgers there, especially compared to what they’re used to in the big city.
      I hear that all the time when I shuttle people to and from the airport – it’s all relative – they still think the views are breathtaking from Belgrade (and they are) – so they don’t need to be crammed in near the foothills alongside family neighborhoods. Plus they’re used to driving very long distances every day, and a couple more miles is nothing to them.
      Now I realize that many will say that’s not good for the environment – but it’s not THAT much farther – and I will risk that cost to retain the quality of life for Bozeman residents.
      I’m all for the free market and limited government, but ultimately I believe in Democracy and the Will of the People, and there is no way that I could support this project in good conscience when I know that so many of the neighbors oppose it.
      If I wouldn’t want it next to me, then I can’t support it being next to anybody.
      Again, I’m all for capitalism and the free market, but we need to give priority to the housing needs of our own before we cave in to 2nd and 3rd homes for outsiders.
      Infill is great, but let’s have infill mirror what’s around it instead of infill projects sticking out like a sore thumb.
      Also, generally speaking I think when a zoning change is requested by anyone, they need to also present a site plan of what they have in mind.
      Otherwise we keep hearing “oh, don’t worry, this is just a request for a change in zoning – – nothing to worry about – – you’ll have plenty of opportunity to comment on the actual project once it’s presented”. But by the time that rolls around, everything is so far along that it’s basically just ready to be rubber-stamped by the Commission.
      More and better communication is probably what I should have fallen back on as my answer here. Most of my comments are based on only hearing/reading one side of the story and based on what I’ve seen in the past. So I do apologize to the developer if I am completely missing something here.
      Thanks Thomas! -Brian

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