BOZEMAN - Governor Greg Gianforte held a press conference on Thursday at an apartment complex that is being built in Bozeman.
He was at the project — which is billed as a class-A, multi-family luxury apartment home community — to push for more housing development across Montana.
“High-density housing like that behind us is part of the solution,” said Gianforte. “Hard-working Montanans struggle to rent or own a home."
“This is really just a representative of a more dense development project and it was convenient for today for us to do the press conference here," Gianforte said when asked why he was holding a press conference for attainable and affordable housing at a luxury apartment complex.
This comes after his housing task force made various recommendations to alleviate the housing crisis across the state. “One of the recommendations was denser housing,” said Gianforte.
In a response letter to the task force, the Human Resource Development Council groups from across the State agreed with the task force's findings when it came to the need to increase the supply of workforce or affordable housing.
However, they disagree with the 2021 legislative session House Bill 259 that banned cities from using exclusionary zoning, saying the bill takes away local government control when it comes to zoning and housing regulations.
“There are things local communities can do to remove barriers to affordable housing in terms of increasing affordable housing, in terms of increasing density," Gianforte said about the role of local communities.
He added that work to increase housing is done at both levels of government, "stuff appropriately will be done at the state level, and some should be done at the local level."
Gianforte says he’s ready to implement laws to increase housing once the 2023 legislature kicks off.