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Market Watch

Bridger View Down Payment Assistance Program Now Available

Posted on February 27, 2024 by ERA Landmark

With members of Bozeman’s workforce struggling to purchase homes, the nonprofit Headwaters Community Housing Trust has launched a new program to provide down payment assistance—the up-front cash many locals lack to buy homes they can otherwise afford. The Headwaters program goes far beyond traditional programs with up to seven times more down payment assistance per home than the State of Montana’s program, for example, creating a level of assistance tailored to Bozeman’s home prices that can make a critical difference for buyers.

The program is also designed to help Bozeman employers who face a growing challenge to keep and attract employees due to high housing costs. It seeks to double down payment assistance an employer offers to its workers with a matching, no-interest loan of up to $50,000, resulting in total down payment support of $100,000 per home. “This is a wonderful opportunity in a challenging housing market,” said Mark Meissner with ERA Landmark Real Estate. ERA is selling the final market-rate homes in the Bridger View neighborhood next to Story Mill Community Park where Headwaters is offering its down payment assistance on purchases of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom homes. “It’s an amazing program to be able to offer hardworking folks in Gallatin County who’ve been unable to buy homes, often because they can’t meet the down payment requirements,” Meissner added, “and also for employers who value and want to support their employees as the try to get ahead and stay in Bozeman.”

Christine Walker, a member of the housing trust’s board, says Headwaters recently received a major contribution from an anonymous donor. The organization looked closely at options that would immediately further assist Bozeman residents struggling to buy first homes in a challenging housing market. The trust landed on down payment assistance at a level truly geared to Bozeman. “We are actively meeting with local employers about this opportunity. The donor wanted to help Bozeman’s workforce. Employers are excited about it,” Walker said. “We hope that homebuyers will also take the initiative to ask their employers about participating.”

The Bridger View neighborhood, designed to model strategies that advance permanently affordable homes, community, health, and efficient use of land, water, and energy, has steadily filled this year with first-time home buyers working in all sectors of the Bozeman economy. The neighborhood is home to teachers, nurses, software engineers, employees of local government, non-profits, small businesses, a barista, musician, and ski-lift operator, among many other sectors and occupations. Bridger View’s final market-rate homes are nearing completion. Of the neighborhood’s 62 homes, just 12 remain available. All 12 are eligible for the housing trust’s down payment assistance program.


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