In East Helena, Tester Announces $10.2 Million Grant for Housing and Critical Infrastructure Improvements

Senator unveils $10.2 million RAISE Grant funded by his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law;

Joined by local officials and advocates, Tester discusses lowering housing costs

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today spoke in East Helena to announce he has secured more than $10.2 million in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant funding to improve housing and critical infrastructure in the community. Funding for the grant comes in part from Tester’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote for this funding. 

Tester was joined by local officials and housing advocates including East Helena Mayor Kelly Harris, Helena Area Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jacob Kuntz, and East Helena Public Schools Superintendent Dan Rispens. Tester outlined his successful push to secure funding for the ongoing housing construction project in collaboration with the City of East Helena in the Highland Meadows Subdivision.

“From Helena to Bozeman to Missoula, all the way to smaller communities like my hometown of Big Sandy, I hear from folks who are struggling with rising costs and a shortage of affordable, accessible housing options,” said Tester. “That’s why I am proud to announce today that East Helena will officially be receiving RAISE Grant funding through my Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to repair and improve Valley Drive – because without critical infrastructure, folks can’t get from their homes to their schools or their places of work.”

Senator Tester has been the leading advocate for East Helena’s RAISE grant application. Earlier this year, the Senator wrote a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg urging the Department of Transportation to approve East Helena’s application, noting that as the city continues to grow, reliable transportation infrastructure is critically important for local families and small business owners. Using funding from Tester’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the RAISE Grant funding will go toward creating an extensive transportation network that will improve connectivity and public safety, and increase traffic to businesses on East Helena’s Main Street.

Tester has also been Montana’s leading champion for tackling rising housing costs and bolstering the state’s housing supply. Earlier this year, Tester secured more than $16 million for housing programs across the state to increase the supply of housing for Montanans. In November, Tester introduced his Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) Act – legislation that would revitalize Montana’s affordable housing supply by establishing a manufactured housing community improvement grant program.

In September, Tester introduced his bipartisan Rural Housing Service Reform Act of 2023 – legislation which would improve federal rural housing programs, cut government red tape, and strengthen the supply of affordable housing across Montana.