Missoula Redevelopment Agency looks to help fund workforce housing

The Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s board on Thursday discussed ways to use Tax Increment Financing to actually build workforce housing in Missoula instead of just supporting infrastructure improvements for those projects.

The MRA’s staff have come up with a broad set of policy recommendations, and the board discussed the document during a presentation.

“We see this as a big benefit and a tool to meet our broader housing policy goals in the city,” said Emily Harris-Shears, the city’s housing policy specialist.

The Sweetgrass Commons affordable housing project in the Old Sawmill District was helped with $488,000 in Tax Increment Funding from the Missoula Redevelopment Agency.

MMW Architects

The move comes in the midst of a persistent affordable housing crisis in Missoula, where housing prices have escalated far beyond wages for years. The agency’s goal is to offer incentives to developers who build housing for certain income levels.

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If the board approves the new recommended guidelines, among other provisions, they would stipulate that developers asking for TIF assistance must either build

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