skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Making holiday travel manageable for those with a chronic health issue; University presidents testify on the rise of anti-semitism on college campuses; Tommy Tuberville's blockade on military promotions is mostly over.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Sen. Tommy Tuberville ends his hold on military promotions, the Senate's leadership is divided on a House Border Bill and college presidents testify about anti-semitism on campus.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

Build Back Better Act Could Help Address MT Housing Crisis, Advocates Say

play audio
Play

Monday, December 27, 2021   

Like many states across the country, Montana is facing a housing crisis. One organization says policies in the Build Back Better Act, still in Congress, could help more people find and afford homes.

Opponents of the bill say it's too costly. But Adrienne Bombelles, senior policy analyst with the Montana Budget and Policy Center, said it includes much-needed rental assistance, through the Housing Choice Voucher program.

Under the Build Back Better plan, she said, the program could receive an additional $26 billion.

"The Housing Choice Voucher program and its expansion is going to go a long way towards helping families living in poverty," said Bombelles, "or senior citizens living on low fixed incomes and those living with disabilities afford their rent."

More than 10,500 Montanans rely on the program for rental assistance.

Thirty-six percent are people living with disabilities, 32% are older Montanans and 26% are single parents. But the average waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher program in Montana is 25 months.

Bombelles noted that housing affordability isn't the only concern. Because the state is mostly rural, housing supply also is an issue.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Montana needs about 17,700 more homes that are affordable and available for renters with extremely low incomes.

Bombelles said housing advocates in the state see a few ways to increase the supply, such as increasing the state's investment.

"Also better leverage the federal dollars that are coming to the state, especially in the form the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program," said Bombelles. "To boost our supply, to subsidize the construction and maintenance of homes that are affordable to people living on low incomes."

The Build Back Better Act would provide $250 million to small, rural towns specifically for building more affordable housing.

While the task is great and the pandemic has made it greater, Bombelles said it's still possible to tackle.

"This problem is not insurmountable," said Bombelles. "We have solutions, and our nation is wealthy. We have the resources to create these investments for our people. It's just finding the path forward and finding the will to do these things."

Although Sen. Joe Manchin - D-W.Va. - has said he will vote no on the package, Democrats have vowed to move forward with a vote in 2022.




get more stories like this via email
more stories
A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found nearly three in four Jewish students in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed antisemitism this school year. The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has also opened investigations into alleged Islamophobic incidents at least a half-dozen colleges and universities. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …


Social Issues

play sound

There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …


The average cost in Ohio for college tuition and fees is around $10,049 per year, according to the Education Data Initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …

An endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle swims off San Francisco, in September 2022. (Geoff Shester/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …

Health and Wellness

play sound

The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …

Environment

play sound

A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021