Housing plan workshop Wednesday

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The task force charged with creating the Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan is holding an open house and workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 13 to report on the status of the plan and get further input on it.

The workshop is set for 5-7 p.m. at Whitefish City Hall. Attendees will hear about the goals and objectives established by the task force, and the programs, projects and tools that have been identified to help tackle the affordable workforce housing shortage in Whitefish.

“This is a preliminary look at the draft plan,” Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Director Kevin Gartland said. “We want to make sure we’re not headed in the wrong direction and we want input to help us get farther down the road.”

Folks will also be asked to provide input to the task force and housing consultants as the fine-tune the plan prior to submitting it to Whitefish City Council in November.

The housing task force is a group made up of city and Whitefish Chamber of Commerce representatives, community members and business owners.

The need for more workforce housing has been on the radar for years, but has become more of a priority for the city and chamber, which began looking for solutions starting with a needs assessment and now is following up with the strategic plan for how to address the housing shortage.

The needs assessment completed last year showed Whitefish needs to add almost 1,000 housing units by 2020 to make up for a current shortage of available workforce housing and plan for the future.

The housing plan is expected to assist with substantially increasing the production of affordable workforce housing over the next five to 10 years.

The Montana Department of Commerce provided a Federal Community Development Block Grant for development of the plan.

For more information, call the chamber at 862-3501 or visit www.whitefishhousing.com

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