A comprehensive plan to remake the housing system. From the bottom up.


  • Rapid change through manageable transitions.
  • Meet the greatest needs first.
  • The price of housing should reflect what it actually costs.
  • Make land ownership ubiquitous and nearly free.
  • Eradicate homelessness forever.
  • Grow wealth absent of debt, from the bottom up.

Transformative goals with clear, obtainable steps.

Click on each for details.

Housing First does away with chronic emergency services for the homeless and simply puts them in homes instead. No questions asked. Numerous programs around the country show a net gain to local government budgets. The strain on emergency services improperly suited to managing chronic homelessness disappears. Studies in New York and Utah showed an estimated $8,000-$10,000 savings per person after the move to Housing First.​

  • First, fully fund local shelters until construction can be completed or appropriate dwellings can be found for a Housing First program.>
  • Immediately implement Housing First so that no one has to suffer a harsh winter on the streets again
  • Coordinate amongst local budgets to fund construction and maintenance through the eventual surplus savings gained.
  • Ensure the program offers or connects with crucial support services, including mental health, social services, job training, mentoring, and addiction recovery.
  • Make sure drug and alcohol screenings and the like are never a requirement for Housing First. Homelessness actually causes mental illness, not the other way around, and the first step to any recovery is physical security.

The rental population is composed of the poorest and most marginalized. LGBTQ+ people, convicted felons, and minorities face significant discrimination from landlords based on their status on a regular basis. Those who are lucky enough to avoid these kinds of discrimination face unduly steep application requirements, overly invasive background checks, condescension, and mistrust. Once in an apartment, renters have little power and turn over their basic existence to a landlord who doesn’t share their interest, all while managing a tenuous, exploitative relationship that could end in retaliation at any moment.

  • Hold regular workshops teaching renters their rights under the law and how to exercise them firmly but tactfully.
  • Train renters to file cases in small claims court to recover illegally withheld deposits and damages, reverse wrongful evictions, and hold landlords accountable for retaliation.
  • Maintain a tenant support desk for renters struggling with landlord-tenants issues now. 
  • Teach tenants to be proactive about lease review, watching for rental red flags, and documenting their rental process.
  • Require deposits to be placed in interest-bearing accounts that go directly to the tenant.
  • Require all landlords that use credit screenings to report to eligible credit bureaus so that tenants benefit on their credit history from regularly paying rent.
  • Have mandatory rental property public financial disclosures so that renters know their own risk.
  • Enact strong deposit and damage reforms to stop security deposits from being treated as routine profit centers.
  • Enforce limited-flexibility standardized leases that eliminate exploitative and illegal lease provisions so commonly used today.
  • Lobby for local rent hike freezes in areas especially hard-hit.
  • Create land use taxes that encourage smaller lot development and minimize private land hoarding that blocks access to Montana’s wild spaces for everyone.
  • Push property values down over time. That means re-weighting local mill levies so that local governments remain funded and households pay proportionally, instead of based on property values, which are subject to speculation and market swings. 
  • Tax those that own residential property beyond their primary residence (in-state or out-of-state) so that people will live and work in Montana, instead of abusing our citizens and beautiful lands to pad their investment funds.
  • Use the resulting revenue to fund public housing and public banking designed exclusively for housing.

Our entire housing system today is based on banking that always creates more and more debt. This is great for the banks, but terrible for everyone else. Instead a local bank owned by the public can lend to its members at almost zero interest.

  • Create local public banks exclusively designed to provide an alternative to the current system that makes people pay for their houses twice: once for the house and once for the interest on the loan.
  • Structure the bank to operate like a savings and loan institution. It accepts low-risk savings deposits and makes public benefit mortgage loans.
  • Banks also have the unique power to create money every time they make a loan. Use this ability to multiply public funding for housing 10 times or more.

No one should be left on the streets, for any reason. But many who don’t need safety net housing still can’t afford a quality home. Public housing is a great alternative and many places around the world have proven it. It’s time for Americans to catch up.

  • True public housing puts the focus on the real cost of a home–building, maintenance, and replacement–instead of subsidizing developers and lenders like today’s Federal housing programs do. In many Western countries, it costs $600 a month or less.
  • Borrow from the Vienna model: residents pay a monthly “rent” for their share of the lifetime costs. That’s it. No mortgages, no separate insurance. Resident associations or local government property managers handle upkeep.
  • Allow residents the option of buying into the equity of the home once the monthly cost drops below 20% of their income. Because of how cheap public housing is, this should be a real option for many. Buyers gain equity without getting a separate mortgage, and when they’re ready to leave, the home goes back into the public pool.
  • Use the system to develop and perfect lending models based on character, not merely credit rating, so that owning a home can truly be a possibility for everyone. Transfer the model to local public banks.
  • The program can be entirely funded from the revenue created by the new investment and land-use taxes.

The public has been sold on the lie that rising property values are good for everyone because they create wealth. The truth? Most people never make money from their home. In fact, it’s really only good for those making the loans and investments. Instead, as property values skyrocket, future generations get locked out of home ownership forever, and millions are put on a direct path to poverty.

  • Use public banking funds to allow homeowners to refinance at 1% interest as long as they agree to sell their home in the future at use-cost. 
  • Offset lost equity through reduced monthly payments. Instead of having their equity trapped in their home (most never see it until retirement), owners get a little of it every month that they can use right away for whatever they need.
  • Participants have the option to sell their home now (at use-cost) and get a mortgage for the same amount as their current mortgage from the public bank at 1% interest. They agree to sell the new home at use-cost as well.
  • As more people opt in (who wouldn’t?), the cost of housing drops dramatically across the board, giving future generations a best gift we can: the ability to create massive wealth through low living expenses and immediate access to savings. All without hurting anyone (Except for big banks. They won’t be happy.).
  • Public banks aren’t enough if we really want to create the housing systems of the future. Local public banks have to mostly work within existing construction and lending standards to in order to reduce risk as transitions happen.
  • Instead small cooperative banks–owned and capitalized by their members–can finance innovative housing projects that further reduce costs and improve quality of life.
  • Because they are small and experimental, failures will leave minimal damage to the system overall, further limiting risk.

Once America became a car-culture and so many moved in the the suburbs, we lost the unique character of neighborhoods and the sense of community well-being that goes along with it. Shared commitment and responsibility through housing can literally rebuild local community spirit and help each of us take care of neighbors while taking care of ourselves.

  • Once America became a car-culture and so many moved in the the suburbs, we lost the unique character of neighborhoods and the sense of community well-being that goes along with it. Shared commitment and responsibility through housing can literally rebuild local community spirit and help each of us take care of neighbors while taking care of ourselves.
  • Housing cooperatives, where common spaces are shared rather than duplicated, allow residents to upgrade their home spaces while sharing the cost. You might have, for example, eight families that share a commercial kitchen, lawn and garden equipment, and tools. Each family cooks dinner a few times a month, and spends a fraction of the time on maintenance and upkeep, while everyone keeps their own private space.
  • Or members can buy up a block of existing homes or apartments and renovate them. Each project can and should be uniquely suited to each situation so that people can live with those they trust, improve their lives, and reduce their ecological footprint.
  • By turning multiple dwellings into one project, members can contract professional help and handle all aspects of development themselves––better and cheaper than the developer subdivision or single build approaches we have today.