We build partnerships

that produce homes for local residents

About the Headwaters Community Housing Trust

Headwaters is a community-based, not-for-profit organization committed to expanding the supply of permanent, below-market homes that working households are able to afford.

Next to Story Mill Community Park, Headwaters is bringing to life a neighborhood conceived by The Trust for Public Land and advanced by HRDC. With private investment and active support from local lenders, businesses, and the City of Bozeman, the Bridger View neighborhood will include 62 energy-efficient homes in a well-designed, walkable community.

Half of these homes will be sold at prices that more working residents can afford.

The housing market

Addressing an unmet need

You hear everyone say, “we simply need more housing supply.” In truth, supply alone will not solve the issue. Bozeman needs more homes priced at levels that locals are able to purchase or rent. Moreover, if prices continue to escalate, even homes that are currently affordable will be out of reach for most community members.

Community and business leaders recognize the challenge and want to help. Headwaters is addressing Bozeman’s unmet need by:

  • Providing businesses opportunities to invest in housing their employees can afford.
  • Supplying a pool of prequalified buyers so developers know high-quality, below-market homes will promptly sell.
  • Creating permanently affordable homes worthy of city investment.

Headwaters is so needed. We are seeing people get pushed further and further out of Bozeman. Surrounding communities used to be relief valves, but now they, too, are struggling with surging home prices. As a result, many people are moving out of the state. These are the folks we count on every day when we go to the grocery store or to the doctor’s office, send our kids to school — people who are looking after our health and safety. Without this core, Bozeman will lose the character and strength we have all come to love. Having Headwaters facilitate housing that keeps our workforce here is critical.

Mark Meissner

ERA Landmark

Our Team

Headwaters is led by dedicated people who are strengthening our community and empowering individuals and families through homeownership.

Michael Brown

Acting Executive Director

Michael has been helping communities across America meet their housing needs for over 40 years. Sought after especially for his expertise in launching and helping focus the work of community housing trusts, he moved to Bozeman to be closer to his children and grandchildren and outdoor recreation he and his family love in all seasons. Michael’s passion about creating housing that works for local residents and remains affordable for future generations of homebuyers has been central to Headwaters’ beginnings.

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Michael explains: “The housing trust approach to improving housing affordability not only creates opportunities for first-time homebuyers to remain in communities they love, it also helps these communities thrive. I’m delighted to be helping Headwaters add this proven approach to other very important work being done to expand housing opportunities in Bozeman.”

Headwaters Housing Trust Stewardship Manager Courtney Naumann

Courtney Naumann

Stewardship Manager

Courtney has worked across the West building and facilitating programming for people connected to land through use, ownership, play, and spirit. Her experience includes project management, technical assistance, and public engagement spanning the conservation sector. She’s rooted in strong commitments to social equity and cultivating spaces for connection.

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Courtney notes: “Fostering meaningful relationships is the cornerstone of Headwaters Community Housing Trust. The perpetual affordability of homes within reach for more people in the Valley is one step towards greater community resiliency and enriching sense of place as it uniquely exists for each of us.”

Carson Taylor

President

Four years after setting his gavel down at Bozeman’s city hall, Carson’s sleeves are still rolled up and his eyes brighter than ever. The former mayor and school board member now pours his passion about Bozeman into leading Headwaters’ efforts to facilitate creation of below-market housing that young families and longtime residents alike can purchase.

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“You want people to own a piece of the community that they live in, and live in the community they work in,” Taylor explains. “We’re working to provide homeownership opportunities and to inspire mixed-income neighborhoods where kids all go to the same school together whether their mom or dad is the bank manager or the bank teller. I see that as important to Bozeman.”

Christine Walker

Vice President

Christine is founder and principal of Navigate, LLC. She helps communities throughout the Intermountain West understand the true nature of their housing affordability challenges as a foundation for effective and durable solutions. She is valued for her broad and deep experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, a combination that gives her uncommon insight into how each of these sectors view housing development and what is needed to bring them together in successful projects.

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Walker says, “I’ve seen firsthand how lack of housing options can hollow out a community. Headwaters can make a major contribution to Bozeman’s prosperity by bringing local government, businesses, and developers together to scale up development of housing that locals can afford.” She adds: “I’m also excited about Headwaters because it can help assure investments are protected by providing stewardship of below-market homes so that they remain affordable for generations.”

Andrea Kavert

Treasurer

Andrea states: “It just doesn’t seem feasible now, moving to Bozeman.” Andrea came to Bozeman to attend MSU, intending to return to the Flathead Valley. When she fell in love with local trails, she decided she wanted to make Bozeman her home. But even with a good job, the housing market was beyond her reach. Ultimately, she bought a home through a community land trust. Today she serves on Headwaters’ Board of Directors.

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Kavert reflects, “I have friends who left after graduating because they didn’t see any future in staying here. They didn’t think they would ever be able to buy a house. Having a positive personal experience finding below-market housing thanks to a community land trust, it’s a great privilege to work towards providing similar opportunities for more people in our valley.”

Board Member Randy Carpenter

Randy Carpenter

Board Member

Randy moved to Bozeman in 2001 excited about living close to Yellowstone National Park but unaware of the riches he would find in every direction. He is among the thousands of Bozeman residents quick to say that today he could not afford the home he purchased many years ago. A respected community planner, Randy brings vital data and perspective to Headwaters’ discussions about housing challenges as well as crucial context about the trajectory of Bozeman’s unprecedented growth.

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“Like everyone in Bozeman, I want us to find workable solutions so that we don’t displace more of our fellow residents who make our community function, and make it special,” he says. “Headwaters is contributing a thoughtful, much-needed approach to catalyzing more housing that will work for more of our population.”

Tracy Menuez

Board Member

Respected for her technical expertise, empathy, and skill at bringing partners together behind solutions, Tracy has been a leader in the housing realm since 2002 when she joined HRDC. She has helped communities throughout Southwest Montana build capacity, programs and projects addressing a spectrum of need, from warming shelters for homeless individuals to expanded supply of more affordable rental opportunities to homeownership avenues for a growing percentage of residents whose incomes are not keeping pace with soaring housing prices.

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“We need to expand choices across the housing continuum,” Menuez explains. “Rental opportunities, ownership opportunities, different type of housing product including smaller single-family homes than traditionally have been built. Wherever we can make progress expanding the supply of housing that people who live and work in our community can afford, it opens housing opportunities for others.”

Francesca Pine

Board Member

Growing up on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations and earning her degree from MSU, Francesca is Executive Director of Mountain Time Arts, a Bozeman-based not-for-profit that produces free, public art to inspire greater awareness and conversation about major issues affecting Southwest Montana. Pine believes Headwaters is an important new organization for Bozeman because it is focused on inclusivity and empowerment.

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“Headwaters can help create bridges between people of mixed backgrounds and mixed incomes and address the pressing housing issue that Bozeman is facing,” Pine says. “It’s helping to bring more options for people to find homes in Bozeman.”

John Taylor

Board Member

John moved to Bozeman in 1997 to attend and play football for Montana State University. Other than a few years away to continue his football career, John has called Bozeman home ever since. John is passionate about giving back to the community he, his wife (a Bozeman native) and 3 children love so much. John is thrilled to be a part of Headwaters’ efforts to expand Bozeman’s supply of homes that make it possible for more local residents to own a piece of their community.

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“Home ownership is part of the ‘American Dream,’ says Taylor. “Hardworking members of our community should be able to afford to live in the community they help to make so great. I am excited to play my part in making that a reality for as many people as possible.”

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Support your community

Housing affordability is at a critical juncture. It is a community-wide problem that requires community-wide participation. By supporting the Headwaters Community Housing Trust today, you can be part of the solution.