What do we do?

Connecting with and informing the community to provide workforce housing services, programs, training, and education. Our mission is to increase the quality and choices of housing in Red Lodge, provide the community with awareness of housing issues, and expand housing opportunities through training and education.

Our goal is to maintain the integrity and uniqueness of Red Lodge’s small-town culture and strengthen its economic well-being by influencing the housing environment to be more affordable, attractive, stable, and accessible for the local workforce. We strive to be efficient and knowledgeable, working with the community to remain a trusted partner and respected authority on housing issues. The Workforce Housing Steering Committee is comprised of lenders, realtors, insurers, builders, the City, businesses, and highly engaged volunteers who donate their time and expertise. In addition to our steering committee we currently partner with USDA Rural Development, Trust Montana, Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, Home Center, and Beartooth Electric Cooperative to educate and take action on housing solutions.

We have successfully facilitated the building of four permanently affordable housing units on community land trusts since 2016, with three more in progress in 2021. Dozens of households have benefitted from access to first-time homebuyer education, financial literacy, and renter counseling resources. In 2021 – 2022, we hosted an Americorps VISTA member to focus on solutions to the shortage of both available and affordable long-term rentals in Carbon County.

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Although there are many important housing needs to be addressed in Red Lodge, the Workforce Housing Committee identified through a Housing Needs Assessment that the most pressing concern is with the existing and future workforce. Our local workforce includes teachers, nurses, and service employees who make our wonderful resort town thrive. Without these people, our economy would not survive and our infrastructure would diminish.


Click on a title below to expand the menu for more detailed information on all our current projects and programs.


The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation’s Workforce Housing Steering Committee partnered with Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, Trust Montana, USDA Rural Development, and Altana Federal Credit Union to build quality and efficient single-family homes for qualified people working in the Red Lodge Area. Homes are already under construction in the Spires lots on the west bench off Hwy 78, with more to come. 

Under the guidance of Helena Area Habitat for Humanity staff, qualified applicants are building their own homes, and the homes of their neighbors, with assistance from relatives, friends, and their community.  This Owner-Built Workforce Housing program is for anyone that has stable income, positive credit, and minimal debt. If you’re interested in building your own home and the homes of your neighbors, then this program may be for you. 

See the one page summary of the Owner-Built Housing program.

  • Acquire knowledge and skills in home maintenance and construction  
  • Home-buyers earn equity in their home by providing sweat-equity 
  • Develop lasting relationships with neighbors building their homes at the same time 
  • Low interest rates that may be modified by payment assistance 
  • Up to 33-year payback period, with a 38-year payback period for some applicants based on income



We use the following guidelines to evaluate each pre-qualification applicant, but additional factors may influence your eligibility.  Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances. 

Skills: No construction or carpentry skills necessary. You’ll be taught all you need to know along the way.  

Income: Income Qualifications are set per HUD 2021 Area Median Incomes for Carbon County (see table). Because many factors determine a household income, you may be eligible even if your income exceeds the maximum. Applicants must exhibit steady and verifiable income for at least 1 year and work in the Red Lodge area. 

Credit History & Record: Credit is reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Free financial counseling sessions are available to support applicants with their credit and homeownership preparation.  

Residency: U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required. 

Time Commitment“Sweat-equity” is the time commitment that all households contribute to building their homes and the homes of their neighbors.  Contributing labor lowers costs and allows people to earn instant equity in their home. Commitment to 1 weekday evening 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm and 1 full-day Saturday every week are required for at least 1 years’ time and/or until all homes are completed and move-in ready. The weekday night chosen is mutually agreed upon by the build families. 


The first step is to fill out and submit a pre-qualification form. This is a short, pre-screening questionnaire that can be completed in a matter of minutes. From there, the form is reviewed and you’ll hear back to set up a meeting. 

Here’s how you can start your path towards homeownership: 

  • Fill out the pre-qualification form online (scroll down to bottom of this page)
  • You can also pick up a hard copy from the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, or download and print the Pre-Qualification Form PDF.
  • If you fill out a hard copy of the form, please return it to Robin Adams at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation by: 
    • Mail: P.O. Box 1871, Red Lodge, MT, 59068 
    • Emailangela@rlacf.org 
    • In-Person: Drop off at the RLACF office: 122 Hauser Ave S, Red Lodge, MT 59068 

Questions? Contact Angela Getchell (RLACF Workforce Housing Coordinator):  angela@rlacf.org  / Office: (406) 446-2820 / Direct: (406) 426-1983


Click on a title below to expand the menu for more detailed information on ways to get involved and learn more about affordable and workforce housing issues.


Filling out this form is the first step to apply for our Owner-Built Housing program. For a full summary of the program and eligibility guidelines, view our current projects. If you have questions about this form and/or would like to clarify the information you provide, please contact Angela Getchell at angela@rlacf.org or (406) 426-1983.