How it works
What if you could save hundreds of dollars a month on your mortgage payment, provide permanently affordable housing for others, and guarantee that you could afford another home in town if you decided to move? And what if you could help reverse the housing inflation that’s causing Bozeman to be unaffordable for almost everyone?
That’s the goal of this innovative program that would be the first of its kind anywhere in the country. It relies on us creating a public bank (**link here). Here’s how it would work with an average $440,000 home:
- Offer mortgage refinancing at the lowest rate possible (likely 1%-2%). Start with homes with 4 bedrooms or less, valued at median price or less.
- Savings in our example would be $500/month.
- Owners who opt in have to stay in the home for 3 years before selling.
- They must also agree to donate the land to a city-wide land trust and sell the home itself at a discounted price. They receive a significant tax deduction by donating the land.
- Price restrictions kick in only when there is a large enough pool to allow members to move and buy another home in the land trust. Members have first option when buying and selling within the pool.
- Homes remain permanently price restricted. Each time new members buy into the pool, rather than entering by refinancing, prices are reduced further, until they reach the actual cost of construction plus inflation.
Did you know?
How if benefits you
- Homeowners who join the program early by refinancing get major tax breaks when they donate their land to the community land trust.
- Owners have real cash in their pocket every month, instead of wealth from inflated home values that remains inaccessible unless they have room to downsize significantly or move to a much cheaper market.
- Thousands of existing homes can quickly become affordable ones, making our community a place for everyone, not just the rich.
- Home prices stay low and predictable, meaning families can plan for their future.
- It encourages residents to make their homes here and invest in their community for the long haul.
- We can systematically deflate prices without hurting individuals they way that market corrections and bubbles do.
- Bozeman’s low wages will go much further for families when housing prices remain low, effectively creating wealth for thousands of people every day. That translates to better health and well-being, less financial risk, lower homelessness, and a happier community.