Strengthening Montana’s Affordable Housing Supply is Aim of New Tester Bill
Senator’s PRICE Act will revitalize Montana’s affordable housing supply
As part of his continued work to address the shortage of affordable housing in Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced his Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement Act – legislation that would revitalize Montana’s affordable housing supply by establishing a manufactured housing community improvement grant program.
“As I travel across Montana, I hear about the need to tackle the lack of affordable housing in our state,” said Tester. “As a third-generation Montanan who is fortunate enough to live on the same plot of land my grandparents homesteaded over 100 years ago, making sure that folks can afford to live in the community they grew up in is personal. Our commonsense legislation will help preserve the supply of affordable housing across our state and revitalize units badly in need of repairs, and I’ll keep fighting until it becomes law.”
Tester’s bill would make the Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) grant program permanent, providing funding for home improvements and neighborhood upgrades for thousands of Americans each year. The PRICE grant program was established in 2022 to help preserve and revitalize manufactured housing in eligible communities. Manufactured housing makes up a significant portion of Montana’s more affordable housing stock.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Tester secured $225 million for the PRICE grant program in the FY23 Government Funding bill. Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for this funding.
Tester has been Montana’s leading champion for rural housing accessibility. Last month, Tester questioned community development experts during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on potential solutions to expand housing opportunities in high growth areas. In September, Tester introduced his bipartisan Rural Housing Service Reform Act of 2023 – legislation which would improve federal rural housing programs and strengthen the supply of affordable housing across Montana.
Last December, Tester secured significant wins for housing affordability in the 2023 government funding package, including $85 million for a new “Yes in My Back Yard” grant program, $170 million for Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks), and $12.5 million for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). That same month, he secured more than $637,000 for housing accessibility in Helena through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grant Program.