MTPR

Whitefish Housing Authority

Downtown Whitefish, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Whitefish needs 1,000 new housing units by next year to keep up with demand. That’s according to a 2016 housing needs assessment that found that about 65 percent of workers commute to the small ski town. 

Downtown Whitefish, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Kate Berry says owning a house in Whitefish felt like a pipedream five years ago.

"We had searched for almost a year I guess, and everything that was in our price point was still out of our price point."

Berry pieced together a livable wage working full time for a nonprofit and waitressing at night. Her partner tended bar and rapped for a popular local band. But even together they couldn’t quite pull in enough for a down payment. Rentals kept falling through, and for a while, she says she wasn’t sure how her family could live and work in the town she grew up in.