FILE -  Billings, Montana

A view of a residential neighborhood from Zimmerman Park in the city of Billings, Montana.

(The Center Square) – Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a housing bill that he says will increase the state's housing supply.

House Bill 211, sponsored by Rep. Larry Brewster, R-Billings, aims to speed up the subdivision review process by cutting red tape that hampers both applicants and governments.

"An incorporated city, town, or consolidated city-county shall implement the expedited review provided for ... regardless of whether the city, town, or consolidated city-county has incorporated the provisions of this section into the city, town, or consolidated city-county's local subdivision regulations," the bill reads.

The legislation stems from a bipartisan Housing Task Force recommendation.

“For too long, burdensome regulations have constricted housing supply, driven up prices, and made buying a home out of reach for Montanans,” Gianforte said at a press conference alongside construction workers. “To increase the supply of affordable workforce housing, we’re cutting red tape and removing unnecessary roadblocks to home ownership.”

Pointing to 2021 estimates from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the governor’s office said the average cost of regulation in new home prices increased 44% over the last 10 years.

“NAHB also reported that government-imposed regulations account for 23.8% of the final price of a new single-family home built for sale,” the governor’s office said.

Tanner Avery, communications and outreach director for the Helena-based Frontier Institute, said the legislation will improve housing affordability.

"Research shows that excessive red tape is a significant contributor to the cost increase of today's housing,” Avery told The Center Square. “By removing overburdensome red tape, HB 211 will allow more Montanans to secure affordable housing."