The city of Billings has been chosen to participate in the Housing Solutions Workshops from October 3 – 20. The virtual series helps to build local housing strategies for communities. 

According to the press release, the virtual workshop is sponsored by the Furhman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab at New York University, The Lincon Insitute of Land Policy, and Abt Associates. Senior officials from housing agencies and regional partners from Billings will participate in the workshop. 

Local officials who will be a part of the event include realtor Bob Leach from the Billings Association of Realtors, Executive Director for Big Sky Economic Development Steve Arveschoug, and Planning and Community Services Director for the city of Billings Wyeth Friday. Other partners include Business Advocacy Director of the Billings Chamber  Daniel Brooks and CEO for District 7 of HRDC Denise Jordan. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Billings’ Delegation to use innovative and strategic skills, along with evidence-based strategies to make an impact on the housing challenges in Billings,” said Patti Webster, CEO of HomeFront. 

Over the last year, national data has shown an increase in rental and home prices, with rental vacancy rates at their lowest in nearly 40 years. Housing costs put pressure in small to midsize cities for those looking for homes and renters. Local government can benefit from resources and assistance in helping to navigate challenges and create housing that fits residents’ needs.  

“As rents climb to new highs, it’s more important than ever for local leaders to use strategic, evidence-informed policies to fight back,” said Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab, Martha Galvez. “Affordable housing is the lynchpin of so many interconnected challenges facing small and midsize cities, and we’re thrilled to tackle them with this year’s group of innovators.”

Communities were selected nationwide for this workshop after high volumes of relevant applications were sent in. Applicants submitted written submissions and interviews with applicants selected to build on communities at similar stages of the housing planning process. Other selected communities include Arvada, Colorado, New Haven, Connecticut, Gresham, Oregon, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.