Montana Department of Commerce

A picture of houses atop text that explains the website is experiencing intermittent slow visit and upload speeds due to high volume.
Montana Department of Commerce

It’s the start of the month, which means housing payments are due for many Montanans. Amid the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there doesn’t yet appear to be large spikes in evictions and foreclosures. But state officials are still having trouble distributing federal housing relief dollars to the people who need them.

A map showing the self response rates from households to the 2020 Census by phone, mail or online.
U.S. Census Bureau

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Just over half of Montana households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, according to the state Department of Commerce. The state still trails the national response rate.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that area offices in 13 states will reopen for limited field operations this week, including one in Billings. MTPR reports Montana is one of a few states where the Census count has experienced severe setbacks in light of the pandemic.

The Montana Capitol Building in Helena.
tracyelizabeths / Flickr

Montana is offering $123 million through new emergency grant programs to small businesses, non-profits and individuals impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic starting May 7.

A stock image of a doctor wearing a stethoscope.

Three Montana health care centers will receive a total of $1.4 million in the form of state emergency loans.

McCone County Health, a frontier critical access hospital and clinic in Circle, Glendive Medical Center, a critical access hospital for east central Montana and western North Dakota, and Alluvion Health, a community health center in Great Falls will receive short-term, low-interest emergency loans up to $500,000.

A tan housing complex
Montana Department of Commerce

  The Montana Department of Commerce announced Apr. 9 over $11 million in low-interest loans will be distributed to affordable housing projects in Havre, Helena, Joliet and Laurel. The funding comes from the state’s Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program.

Montanas are being asked to report Census data online or by phone even without receiving a specialized ID code to begin the process.

A press release from the Montana Dept of Commerce on Monday says the state’s response remains critical as Census field operations across the U.S. are being suspended due to COVID-19.

A red building of housing units.
Montana Department of Commerce

The Montana Department of Commerce announced Feb. 11 that four towns will receive state funding to support development and rehabilitation of affordable rental homes.

Fort Belknap tribal seal
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Department of Commerce has awarded $700,000 in grants across eight tribal governments for tribal language revitalization efforts. 

A person stands backlit by the Milky Way
Montana Department of Commerce

Out-of-state tourism in Montana has grown almost 25 percent over the last decade but most of it is concentrated near Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. People in the eastern part of the state are trying to attract more tourists with something many Americans are losing: a dark night sky.