FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 16, 2014
Penny Cope, Public Relations Specialist, Housing Division, (406) 841-2846
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, Department of Commerce, (406) 841-2557
Statewide Housing Conference to Address Challenges and Opportunities for Affordable Housing in Montana
HELENA – The Montana Housing Partnership will hold their 2014 Annual Conference next week on May 20, 21, and 22 at the Sleep Inn and Suites in Miles City.
“The Montana Housing Partnership Conference is an opportunity for community leaders to come together and discuss the challenges and solutions to ensuring affordable housing opportunities are available across Montana,” said Governor Bullock. “Many of our Montana communities, especially in the eastern part of the state, are struggling to maintain the affordable housing that is so important to our working families, aging seniors, teachers, health care providers, and law enforcement. I’m looking forward to participating in this collaborative process to find meaningful solutions to these challenges.”
Bullock will be speaking on Tuesday, May 20th at 11:00 a.m. following the Plenary Session dedicated to addressing skyrocketing housing prices in Eastern Montana. The session consists of a “coalition panel” of regional economic development leaders including Martin Dewitt from Great Northern Development Corporation, Leslie Messer with Richland Economic Development Corporation, Jason Rittal with Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, and Jim Atchison with South Eastern Montana Development Corporation.
“Affordable housing is essential to maintaining positive economic growth in Montana,” noted Commerce Director Meg O’Leary. “How can Montana residents be expected to live, work, thrive, and contribute to our state’s economy if they can’t afford to have a safe and comfortable place to rest and recover from a hard day’s work?”
The theme of the 2014 conference is Home on the Range: Montana Housing Opportunities. Conference organizers have been working over the course of several months to create an agenda filled with national and statewide industry professionals. This year’s conference will include a comprehensive housing planning discussion and training, titled The Development of Affordable Housing, held on Thursday, May 22 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
The Montana Department of Commerce has helped organize the conference for more than a decade.
“It continues to be a rewarding experience to help put together this conference year after year,” said Bruce Brensdal, Administrator of the Housing Division at the Montana Department of Commerce. “All of our partners are excited – it’s a great place to network with other industry professionals and participate in informative and thought-provoking discussions.”
The Montana Housing Partnerships consists of members from the Montana Building Industry Association, the Montana Association of Realtors, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Neighborworks Montana, the Montana Department of Commerce, Human Resource Development Councils, including Action for Eastern Montana, the Montana Board of Housing, USDA Rural Development, Housing and Urban Development, Montana Tribal Housing Coalition, Resident-Owned Communities, Montana Public Housing Authorities, Montana Manufactured Housing and RV Association, Mountain Plains Equity Group, Homeword, A.W.A.R.E., Inc., Montana Home Choice Coalition and Trust Montana.
More information, including a full agenda, can be accessed by visiting http://www.cvent.com/events/2014-montana-housing-partnership-conference/event-summary-872d573f9f324a9f95b09af81dd035f0.aspx.