Housing

Eric Dietrich / MTFP

Housing costs have risen across Montana in recent decades, to the point where residents are feeling the pinch between wages and their rent or mortgage payments, say economists with the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The unanswered question is: why?

Lake County is updating its growth policy plan this summer. Tuesday, county planners hosted the last of five public meetings to hear what local residents think should be addressed in the plan due later this fall.

The county hosted a slew of open houses over the past two weeks to hear what local residents think about development, land use and protecting natural and cultural resources as Lake County continues to grow.

Home prices have finally clawed their way back to the peak of the housing bubble. That's on average nationally. The story is very different when you zoom in on different counties or cities in particular.

Affordable housing is becoming increasingly hard to find in Whitefish, as second homeowners, mostly from out of state, scoop up real estate and landlords turn their usual long-term rentals into vacation rentals. For people working the low-wage service industry jobs that sustain the area’s tourism economy, there aren’t a lot of options.

Legislative Services

The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to help people get housing after they are released from prison.  The bill’s sponsor said taxpayers foot the bill, but the cost can be reduced.

Senator Cynthia Wolken, D-Missoula, said the Department of Corrections reported as of this morning about 120 people have been granted parole.