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At 10:00, we are going live to discuss the housing crisis in Montana. Recent data shows how difficult it is for home buyers in the state.

According to the 2023 Labor Day Report, home values in Montana have increased by 51% since before the pandemic, making it the eighth highest in the US. In the first quarter of this year, the average home value in Montana was $440,000, a significant jump from $280,000 three years ago.

The pandemic has led to an influx of people moving into the state, causing a rise in demand. Rapid growth is particularly observed in Boseman, where the city is expanding.

Homeowners associations are expected to help manage the effects of this growth, but some of their rules hinder the city’s efforts to address certain issues. For example, lawn maintenance, regulated by the associations, is responsible for half of the residential water use in Boseman, conflicting with the city’s conservation goals. Other covenants restrict residents from offering childcare, building accessory dwelling units, growing their own food, or installing solar panels.

The city of Boseman is working on drafting model covenants that provide more flexibility and adaptability to meet the changing needs of the community. The US Census Bureau reports that 84% of newly built single-family homes sold in 2022 belonged to homeowners associations.

Boseman currently has around 50 of these associations, and the city hopes that the proposed model covenants will encourage some associations to revise and update their existing restrictions based on feedback from the community. The city plans to present the model covenants to the city Commission in December..

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