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 (particularly for low-to-moderate income households), 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.  Workforce Housing Steering Committee (Lenders, Realtors, Insurers, Builders, The City, Businesses and highly engaged volunteers who donate their time and expertise to partner with, NeighborWorks, Trust Montana, Habitat for Humanity, the Home Center and other community forums to educate and take action on housing solutions.


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 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.

SELF-HELP HOMES – We’re building new homes in Red Lodge
Future home sites.
Beautiful views of Red Lodge Mountain!

Red Lodge Area Community Foundation and the Workforce Housing Steering Committee is partnering with Helena Area Habitat for Humanity and Trust Montana to offer ”Mutual Self-Help” (MSH) homes to qualified individuals and families in our community.   The houses will be built in the Spires subdivision on the west bench just off Hwy 78 beyond the golf course.

Under the guidance of Habitat construction staff, participants build their own homes with the assistance of their relatives, friends, and other community volunteers.  This Mutual Self-Help program is for individuals and families that may have difficulty with a down payment and are determined to own a home.  RLACF and Habitat staff assist home-buyers through the entire process by helping to access financing, provide construction training and guidance during building.

  • No down payment is necessary
  • Mortgage payments set at no more than 29% of individual or families’ income
  • Acquire knowledge and skills in home maintenance and construction
  • Home-buyer earns instant equity in their home by providing sweat-equity
  • Develop lasting relationships with neighbors building their homes at the same time



Income Qualifications

Household Size

Maximum 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 are needed. You’ll be taught everything you need to know. Families and Individuals will be guided through the construction process by Habitat’s construction staff.

Income: Income Qualifications are set per HUD 2019 Area Median Income calculations.  Applicants must have less than 80% of the HUD Median Income in Carbon County.  Because many factors determine adjusted annual income, you may be eligible even if your income exceeds the maximum allowable income. Applicants must exhibit steady and verifiable income for at least one year.

Credit History: Credit is reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis (if you don’t have a credit report, come in and we’ll access a free one to review together).

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

Time Commitment: The sweat-equity individuals and families put into building their home serves as the down payment. All participating families contribute 65% of the labor building their homes. This equals at least 30 hours per week from the home-buyer, their friends, and other volunteers during construction.   For example, a household with 2 able-bodied adults could have 1 person spend 3 hours/week on a weeknight and both adults could spend 7 hours/week each Saturday (14 hours) totaling 17 hours/week.   The balance of 13 hours/week could be build-time contributions from friends, relatives, or community volunteers – bringing the total to 30 hours/week.  Substitutions for Saturday build days are possible if there are conflicts with work schedules.

  1. Complete the pre-qualification form
  2. Return the form to Theresa Whistler at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation via any of these options:
  • mail: P.O. Box 1871, Red Lodge, MT, 59068
  • email: theresa@rlacf.org
  • drop off at the RLACF office, 122 Hauser Ave S (across from the post office)

If you have any questions regarding this program, please, contact Theresa Whistler:  theresa@rlacf.org  /  (406) 446-2820


If you’d like to get involved with the Housing Committee or to volunteer for housing initiatives, contact  Theresa Whistler



Housing Needs Assessment

Housing Strategic Plan