City of Missoula Approves First Affordable Housing Trust Fund Allocation

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The city is planning two more rounds of funding next year and with about $ 3.1 million available in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the watchdog recommended that about $ 2 million be used for housing construction. (Martin Kidston / Current Missoula)

Missoula city council members approved the first allocation of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund on Monday and praised nearly two years of work to establish the process and committee to oversee it.

The board approved the recommended allocation of $ 26,000 to the Missoula County United Way and its consumer housing services program. This was the first allocation from the trust fund, which the city established about two years ago.

“Getting to this point is really great for the local government because it is a big job,” said Gwen Jones, board member. “I know it’s a small payout, but it’s a big first step forward. “

Three applications requested first-round funding that exceeded the $ 300,000 made available by nearly $ 150,000. While only $ 26,000 was ultimately awarded, those behind the effort said the “innovation cycle” helped improve the process.

The remaining funding will be returned to the trust fund for future uses.

“I know it was an educational process and there were other candidates. But part of that first round of scoring was about setting expectations, creating an education and understanding how to use this fund, ”Jones said. “I think it was very constructive from that. We are starting to gain momentum.

Those responsible for administering the balance of the city’s affordable housing trust fund made progress last week in determining future allocations, and they agreed to keep 20% of the fund in reserve each year for projects. unforeseen.

With a balance of $ 3.1 million, the 20% holding in reserve stands at approximately $ 634,000.

The city is planning two more rounds of funding next year and with about $ 3.1 million available, the watchdog has recommended that about $ 2 million be used for housing construction, $ 352,000 for preservation. affordable housing and $ 100,000 for developer incentives.

“The committee looks forward to the next round,” said committee member and Mayor John Engen. “The committee is moving forward with its recommendation for approximately $ 3 million to support affordable housing. We will get a lot of money on the ground and a lot of return on that investment.

After the first round of funding, Missoula will review the Affordable Housing Fund allocation process


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