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Farewell to Montana Housing’s Bruce Brensdal

Tuesday, June 23, 2020/Categories: Montana Housing

In the 25 years that Bruce Brensdal has led Montana Housing at the Department of Commerce, he’s overseen more than $4 billion in funding for affordable homes across the state. That’s meant thousands of Montana individuals and families have been able to access affordable and safe homes in communities in every corner of the state.

Brensdal joined Montana Housing as the manager of the state’s multifamily programs in June of 1995, jumping headfirst into the complexities of housing tax credits. He quickly became a leader in this space and by 2000 was promoted to oversee the entire Housing Division at Commerce. Later this month, Brensdal will retire from a distinguished career that has made a difference in so many lives.

“The good lord blessed me with an opportunity to do what I’ve done,” Brensdal said, “and I’ve been blessed with the team I get to work with.”

In the 25 years Brensdal has been part of the affordable housing world, the mission has remained constant, but the creativity required to develop projects has been necessitated by a need far outpaced by available resources.

“The complexity of financing has changed. Deals to develop affordable homes now include bonds, tax credits, private funds, and other public sources,” Brensdal said. “People have gotten more educated – more creative – driven by resource limits.”

What’s remained the same is the foundational importance of homes that are affordable, safe, and in communities of all shapes and sizes. “It’s just as important today for a healthy community and that’s exactly the same as when I started,” he said.

Brensdal says it’s been the mission and diversity of work that have kept him enthusiastic about his job after all these years. Primarily, he says, it’s the people who drive him.

“It’s all about the people. The team I’ve been blessed to work with, and the people we serve.”

Brensdal plans to take a little time off this summer but will still be found driving a combine at his family farm in Plentywood and managing the Twisters, his son’s Special Olympics team.

“I’ve just been so lucky to do what I’ve been able to do,” Brensdal said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better job or better people to work with.”


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