Homeword is committed to providing safe, healthy affordable homes using sustainable methods and promoting strong communities through housing counseling and education for those most in need.

Making a Difference for Montanans

  • posted by Andrea Davis
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Making a Difference for Montanans

Thank you for another great year of creating significant impacts and providing hope to Montanans! Together we brought 163 healthy, affordable homes to Missoula and Bozeman. We launched a rental education and counseling program that addressed a serious bottleneck of need. Our HomeOwnership Center has now served over 12,000 people – 930 of those during the last fiscal year. Homeword has properties in 11 communities around the state and over 850 Montanans live in beautiful, dignified housing as a result. 39% of those are children, 13% are seniors and 1 in 6 is living with a disability. The real message here is not the data; but the knowledge we are making a big difference for everyone.

Regardless of whether or not you live in homes we’ve built or have received education or counseling from our certified staff, our community at large benefits from this work. One example from The National Association of Homebuilders’ economic model indicates that for every 100 rental apartments constructed, 161 local jobs and $11.7 million in local income is produced. That translates into over 1,000 jobs for Montanans and tens of millions in local income generated from the 700+ units that Homeword has provided across the state.

What we’re accomplishing together for Montanans is so much more than providing four walls and pieces of information. It’s transformational on many levels. Our homes and living situations shape our well-being in ways that impact our self-perception and our view of the world.

A child can grow up in a safe and healthy home, with hope and the ability to move toward a better future. This environment shapes their perspective in a way that they know what’s possible and that they deserve a good life. Conversely, a child can grow up with the opposite and be shaped by that reality. A non-supportive environment and lack of hope can leave that same child feeling they are undeserving of a good life and influence them to fulfill that destiny. Through care and generosity, we can work together to provide opportunities for people to make changes that are a platform for good in so many areas of their lives and positively impact them for decades to come.

The landscape in which Homeword does its work is filled with both opportunities and challenges. A primary financing source for our housing development, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, is seeing wild shifts as looming federal corporate tax reform makes it a less desirable investment and, thus, less money is available for building housing people can afford. A new administration means new challenges, but also opportunities for us to show the importance of how existing housing policies leverage private support to improve the lives of Montanans in both the short and long term. We continue to seek solutions for quality housing developments despite not receiving tax credit allocations in January for developments in Livingston and Lewistown. We must increase unrestricted funds in order to be nimble and meet challenges as they arise.

Homeword remains steadfast in our commitment to be part of a movement that makes a difference by focusing on community investment. At a time in our lives where there is no county in the United States where a full-time worker earning minimum wage can afford a basic two bedroom apartment, we are leaning in.

I invite you to learn more about our work and ways to invest in a future we all want to be part of. Let’s lock arm in arm and lean in together. We’ll be the change we want to see. As always, thank you for seeing what’s important and knowing that together we build sustainable communities for all.

With gratitude,

Andrea Davis

Executive Director