The Billings Chamber is asking for your help in an important legal battle that will likely head to the Montana Supreme Court. A lawsuit filed by “Housing Haves“—homeowners who attained their housing when it was more abundant and affordable—seeks to use the courts to block pro-housing, bi-partisan reforms passed by the Montana Legislature last year.

Those reforms—dubbed the “Montana Miracle“—would combat the state’s housing affordability crisis by returning property rights to Montanans who want to use their existing properties to add critical units to the state’s housing stock. The bipartisan reforms remove numerous local government restrictions that make more affordable housing types illegal throughout most of our cities’ residential areas. Read more about the legislative reform’s specific changes and benefits to Billings here.

Unfortunately, those reforms are now under attack in the courts, and just before the new year, a judge halted their implementation before they could even take effect.

The Institute for Justice, a national non-profit law firm that defends property rights nationwide, would like to partner with Montana property owners and enter the case to defend the reforms. If you are a property owner who would like the opportunity to develop your property in response to the new laws, the Institute for Justice wants to hear from you.

Interested in constructing a duplex? Renovating a basement into a rental unit? Planning to add an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) for aging parents or additional income? These bills probably would have benefited you. If that’s the case, please reach out to the Institute for Justice.

Contact them directly using the information below:

Ari Bargil –; (305) 721-1600; or Anthony Sanders –; (651) 278-0257


The Billings Chamber of Commerce put together a Pro-Housing Database to provide information on the policies that will help address our housing affordability crisis. A few examples of the information you’ll find are below.

Want to know why housing is so expensive?

The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability

National Bureau of Economic Research, 2002

“[O]ur evidence suggests that zoning and other land use controls, play the dominant role in making housing expensive.”


Zoning, Land-Use Planning, and Housing Affordability

CATO Institute, 2017

“[P]olicymakers can tackle housing affordability problems at the state and local levels by overhauling zoning and land-use rules. They can cap or reduce local regulation, fast-track approval processes, and compensate property owners for regulatory takings.”


More Flexible Zoning Helps Contain Rising Rents

Pew Research, 2023

“The evidence indicates that more flexible zoning helped these places add new housing faster than new households formed or moved in to fill the homes. And that helped slow rent growth.”


Only have 10 minutes? Check out this great explainer video on how local governments make housing expensive.