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Success Stories

Building a Place to Call Home in Rural Montana

Mark McCann
Butte Housing Groundbreaking

As sounds of city traffic fill the air, an obscure vacant lot at a busy intersection in uptown Butte is showing signs of life.

Newly excavated foundation preparations dot the landscape. Water and sewer pipes emerge from the ground, signaling the coming of a neighborhood where 12 hard working Montana families soon will have a place to call home.

The Roxanne Iron Way Condominiums, a joint Habitat for Humanity of Southwestern Montana and National Affordable Housing Network (NAHN ) self-help housing project, is set to provide affordable housing in the form of eight single family homes and two duplexes.

The groundbreaking celebrated NAHN’s 30 years of service to the community and its nearly 20-year relationship with USDA Rural Development – a partnership that has produced more than 100 affordable homes for low-income families in Butte dating back to 2004.  

“USDA broke down all the barriers to affordable housing, and we have had a wonderful relationship with them all these years,” said Barbara Miller, Executive Director of NAHN. “We are grateful for our partnership with them because they are what keeps housing happening in Butte.”

With an anticipated completion date of spring 2024, this current phase will feature high-performance, net-zero ready homes with all-solar electric and insulated panels.

Since 2017, USDA has invested more than $1.5 million with NAHN through the Mutual Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant program to finance construction of the Roxanne Iron Way Condominium project.

Mutual Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants provide funds to qualified organizations that train and help low-income families in rural areas build their own homes. Homeowners are required to invest 1,000 hours of “sweat equity” in their future home which helps keep costs down.     

“Civic leaders have come together to break down barriers, transform neighborhoods, and make Butte place to call home for countless families who would likely not otherwise be able to own a home,” said Miller. “Working together is the key.”


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