www.MTHousingSearch.com is Live, Ready to Link Montanans to Rental Housing Statewide

HELENA, MT – August 18, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Brian Schweitzer announced today the unveiling of MTHousingSearch.com, a new website designed to link Montanans with a wide range of rental housing choices.

MTHousingSearch.com provides free, real-time rental housing information to people looking to list or locate rental property. The website was developed by the Montana Department of Commerce Housing Division, the Montana Board of Housing and Socialserve.com.

“Montana’s special quality of life can be linked directly to the strength and vitality of its communities,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “Housing, especially the ability to access affordable housing, plays an essential role in determining the economic health and growth prospects for our communities. MTHousingSearch.com is a remarkable tool which will revolutionize how people locate rental housing in Montana and I am proud to officially unveil it to a statewide audience.”

“Around the state, we’ve heard stories of Montanans involved in lengthy searches for affordable rental housing,” said Montana Department of Commerce Director, Anthony Preite. “We’ve also heard property owners discuss their need for a better, more complete and comprehensive way to connect to prospective tenants. This website is it.”

“In recent weeks, the MBOH has worked with property owners around the state to populate the website’s database. Thanks to an outstanding team effort between Montana property owners, SocialServe.com and MBOH’s affordable housing experts, we are launching this website – www.MTHousingSearch.com – with over 3,000 units from 31 of our 56 counties,” added Preite.

Properties listed on the website include housing offered by private landlords and public entities. Many of the affordable rental units developed through MBOH’s multifamily tax credit program are also listed.

“This is welcome news for Montana residents who have long wanted a reliable, easy-to-use system that could connect them to rental housing properties around the state,” said Bruce Brensdal, Executive Director of the MBOH and Administrator of the Montana Department of Commerce Housing Division. MTHousingSearch.com allows landlords, including providers of critically needed affordable and special needs housing, to advertise their properties free of charge, while helping renters to easily find property that fits their needs, also free of charge.”

Just Four Clicks from Statewide Inventory of Rental Housing. Prospective tenants will take just four steps to access rental housing options in the location of their choice.

• STEP ONE: Visit www.MTHousingSearch.com and select “Find a Place to Rent.”

• STEP TWO: Select the county for a search of all properties countywide or select the city or town within that county for a listing of properties in that area.

• STEP THREE: Review the list of properties in the selected area.

• STEP FOUR: Select a property listing and review specific property features.

Each property listing will provide summary information to help prospective tenants narrow their choices. Information includes address (including city and zip code), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, monthly rent and deposit, contact person with telephone numbers, available rental date and other useful details.

Specific property information may highlight amenities, accessibility features for individuals with physical disabilities, acceptance of Housing Vouchers (Section 8) and the distance to recreation, shopping and public transportation.

The site supports property searches in English and Spanish. It also allows prospective tenants to access directions. Many listings also feature photographs.

“We’re very excited about the website and its ability to connect mutually interested parties,” Brensdal concluded. “We extend a special invitation to Montana’s property owners to input their information and help us make this site as useful as possible. We also invite those looking for rental housing to visit www.MTHousingSearch.com at their earliest opportunity because this site was created with their needs in mind.”

Socialseserve.com is a program of Non-Profit Industries (NPI), a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to developing leading-edge, easy-to-use Web applications that give agencies, municipalities and the general public access to tools and information that make it easier to find affordable housing and program information. Established in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1999, Socialserve.com has been recognized by the US Conference of Mayors and the National Housing Institute. To date, forty-six states and numerous housing authorities have partnered with Socialserve.com to create useful technology applications.

The Montana Board of Housing (MBOH) was created by the Montana Housing Act of 1975. The MBOH does not receive appropriations from the State general fund and is completely self-supporting. Subsequently all of the funds for the Board’s operations and programs are provided by the private sector through the sale of tax-exempt bonds. The Board is an agency of the State and operates within the Department of Commerce for administrative purposes. The Board provides policy direction for the Home Ownership Programs, the Multifamily Loan Programs, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM) Program.

For more information, visit www.MTHousingSearch.com

Sarah Elliott
406-444-9725
selliott (at) mt (dot) gov

Penny Cope, Montana Board of Housing, 406-841-2846
Mat Rude, Montana Board of Housing, 406-841-2845

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