Community Leadership

Community Focus on Park County's Housing Needs

2021 Park County Housing Needs Assessment


In recent years, housing has become a critical issue in Park County, but identifying exactly what is happening in the ever-changing housing market can be difficult. 

The Park County Housing Coalition -- a collaborative project of the Park County Community Foundation and Human Resource Development Council of District IX (HRDC) -- produced the 2021 Park County Housing Needs Assessment to compile the best information available about this community-wide challenge.

Re-Launch of the Park County Housing Coalition

Please scroll down for links to materials shared during recent meetings of the Park County Housing Coalition.

A critically constrained supply of both rental and for-purchase housing is having damaging effects on quality of life for many Park County families and a stranglehold on local hiring whether for professional, technical and skilled, or semi-skilled employees.  Job offers are made to much-needed employees only to have the opportunities declined because of the difficulty in relocating into Livingston or other county communities.

A lack of affordable housing – no matter what income level – is perhaps the single most-discussed topic in the community.  Many factors affect the situation:  an increasing population as the result of the desirability of living here; the rate of new for-sale or rental housing trailing population growth; age of existing housing inventory; pressure from the Bozeman housing market increasing costs for potential home buyers and rentals; conversions of existing housing to vacation rental properties; and few options for senior citizens to downsize and move from now-too-large homes to quality residential communities.

Believing that solutions require a broad range of stakeholders, in 2018 the Park County Community Foundation partnered with the Park County Extension office of Montana State University and the non-profit Human Resource Development Council to convene a first-time community council to focus on attainable best-practices and solutions.  This work has been re-launched in 2020, and local citizens are lending their experience and expertise to explore actionable solutions.  Participants bring to the discussion their particular technical knowledge, experience in financial and real estate arenas, roles as developers or local-government planning, local-government leadership, employers, small business owners, and as representatives of affected segments of the population.

Among the questions the group is seeking to answer are:

  • Given state and regional social and economic drivers at work, what aspects of our local housing market are with the influence of the working group or its constituent participants?
  • What resources of human and organizational capital, grant availability, private funding potential, and public finance are available to the community?
  • Are restrictions on available locally-affordable housing best addressed directly through measures focused on housing supply or devoting resources toward developing community members’ economic capacity to afford housing that is moving toward higher prices over the long term?

Materials shared at recent meetings of the Park County Housing Coalition:

Next: Learn more about the local effort to coordinate crucial services with the connect referral system.