Montana Public Radio


Roof construction

Missoula County will receive federal funding through a land trust to help subsidize affordable housing. The Montana Department of Commerce announced this week that Trust Montana, a community land trust organization, will receive $350,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help bring home ownership into reach for new, low-income buyers.

Missoula County Mulit-family Apartment Unit Costs 2020
SterlingCRE Advisors

A commercial real estate firm in Missoula has released a new analysis saying population, income and rent prices all rose in the county in 2020. Analysts say that it will take time for the housing market to catch up.

Volume and density of known Short Term Rentals in Montana
" The State of Short-Term Rentals in Montana:"

Researchers at the University of Montana have released a study that says a booming short-term rental market could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and affordable housing, if left unchecked.

Apartment complex

Missoula County signed a $30,000 contract with a Portland-based consulting firm to develop an affordable housing strategy, as the tightening market continues to squeeze both buyers and renters out.

For rent sign in front of a house.

Finding an apartment in Missoula became even harder in the last few months of 2020. 

Sterling Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Missoula released a report Wednesday that says the available rental housing rate dropped below one percent in the fourth quarter last year. The report says a balanced rental estate market would have about a four percent vacancy rate and that Missoula’s low rate means new housing isn’t keeping up with demand. 

House key in a doorknob.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Professionals working in Montana's real estate market say sales of high-end properties have experienced growth in 2020 far beyond their expectations.

The state has recorded sale and price figures that are among the highest in the nation, The Missoulian reports.

The Montana Department of Commerce recently awarded three grants totaling $2.4 million to support affordable housing projects in Bozeman and Havre. It’s part of a federal program that’s funded more than $6 million worth of projects in Montana this year.

The grants will support the rehabilitation and preservation of 41 affordable apartment units in Bozeman and 92 in Havre. The housing units are available to residents making 30 percent or less of the area median income (i.e. less than $20,000 a year).

'For Rent' sign in front of a house.

Amid job losses that haven’t fully recovered this year because of the pandemic recession, competition in many of Montana’s housing markets is also on the rise. That means many Montanans are struggling to find and keep housing.

Individually, our decisions about where to live and what to do for work shape our lives profoundly. The way Montanans answer those questions collectively, quite literally defines the future of our state. Montana has plenty of selling points. Whether you're a fifth generation resident or a new arrival who's lived here six months. But the limits of our rural economy, like lower wages and fewer jobs in specialized fields, are also downsides. This state of ours is a great place to live. But it can be a hard place to make a living. And of course, if you're a politician looking for votes, that's a natural thing to campaign on.

Learn more now on Share State episode six, "Desiring to Improve The Quality of Life."

As real estate prices and rent continue to rise in Bozeman, a new, large scale affordable living project has moved one step closer to becoming a reality.

City commissioners on Aug. 25 voted unanimously in favor of the Arrowleaf Park and Perennial Park development plan in north Bozeman.

Commissioner Terry Cunningham put it this way.

“If a genie were to pop out of a lamp and say, ‘I’ll give you one wish to address Bozeman’s big problems,' and I made that wish, that wish would look a lot like this,” Cunningham said.