Department of Commerce Legislative Session Information

The Department of Commerce partners with communities, businesses, and organizations across the state to strengthen Montana’s economy. The Department supports the development of affordable and vibrant communities, promotes Montana’s spectacular unspoiled nature and charming towns, and supports the innovative and sustainable industries which strengthen Montana’s economy.

The Montana Department of Commerce administers a diverse set of programs that together help Montana build and grow sustainable communities.

Commerce FY24 Annual Plan

The Department is composed of five major operational divisions, and four administratively attached entities:

Major Operational Divisions

Destination MT

The Destination MT Division markets Montana’s spectacular unspoiled nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit. In conjunction with other divisions of the Montana Department of Commerce and partners around the state, Destination MT programs aim to inspire visitation to maximize the economic impact of tourism. 

Destination MT programs include:

  • Marketing Bureau
  • Montana Film Office
  • Office of Tourism
  • Operations Bureau

Business MT

The Business MT Division supports innovative industries and entrepreneurs to grow business across the state, which strengthens Montana's economy and creates job opportunities for hardworking Montanans.

Business MT programs include:

  • Business Technical & Financial Assistance
  • Export & Product Promotion
  • Indian Country Economic Development

Community MT

The Community MT Division helps Montana communities offer safe, efficient, and quality public facilities, including streets, water and sewer services, and schools; affordable and attractive housing and neighborhoods; excellent health care facilities and social services; a vibrant economy; and job opportunities.

The Community MT Division has financial and technical assistance for planning, financing, and constructing public facilities and school facilities; providing decent and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and renewing and improving neighborhoods; community land use planning assistance; and dealing with community impacts from coal or hard rock mining and related development.

Community MT programs and boards include:

  • Coal Board
  • Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
  • Community Technical Assistance Program (CTAP)
  • Hard Rock Mining Impact Board
  • Montana Coal Endowment Program (TSEP)
  • Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program (MHPG)
  • Montana Main Street Program

Housing Division

The Housing Division, known as Montana Housing, strengthens our vibrant communities by supporting access to safe, affordable, and sustainable homes for Montanans whose housing needs are not met by the market. Montana Housing works with community partners across the state to create a variety of housing opportunities for Montana families and offers financial and technical resources to facilitate development of affordable homes. Montana Housing also supports educational opportunities for first-time homebuyers, offers qualified Montanans down payment assistance and access to an affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage when they are ready to purchase a home, and provides rental assistance to those who need it.

Montana Housing is comprised of three units: the Montana Board of Housing, the Rental Assistance Bureau, and Community Housing. The Montana Board of Housing provides policy direction for the eight programs under its purview. The Board is self-supporting, does not receive appropriations from the state's general fund, and is administratively attached to the Montana Department of Commerce.

The Rental Assistance Bureau is Montana’s statewide Public Housing Authority (PHA), and is charged with the administration of the following federally funded U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs. All Rental Assistance Bureau programs are funded by enterprise funds with revenues derived under HUD administrative fees and performance-based contracts.

Community Housing administers HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs for the production and preservation of affordable homes. These programs provide grant funds to communities and non-profits to rehabilitate single- and multifamily homes, finance new construction and rehabilitation of single- and multifamily homes and provide down payment assistance and closing assistance to eligible homebuyers. Community Housing administers federal funds and state special revenue account programs appropriated via HB 2.

Montana Housing includes:

  • Board of Housing
    • Homeownership Loan Programs
    • Housing Montana Fund
    • Montana Veterans’ Home Loan Program
    • Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC)
    • Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program
    • Local Mortgage Loan Servicing
    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
    • Reverse Annuity Mortgage Program (RAM)
  • Rental Assistance Bureau
    • Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), also known as Section 8 Vouchers. HCV includes Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), Mainstream Vouchers, and Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV).
    • Project-Based Section 8 Contract Administration (PBS8)
    • Moderate Rehabilitation Contract Administration (Mod Rehab)
    • Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA)
  • Community Housing
    • Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG)
    • HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME)
    • Housing Trust Fund program (HTF)

Director’s Office

The Director's Office provides overall leadership, communication, and management support to the Montana Department of Commerce Divisions, Bureaus, Programs and administratively attached Boards. The Office provides executive, administrative, legal, and policy direction.

The Director’s Office includes:

  • Business Attraction
  • Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Legal Affairs
  • Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Offices of Accounting and Budget

Entities Administratively Attached to the Department of Commerce: