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THE MONTANA GAP: Affordable Housing Needs Grow In Montana

Miller said she believes speculators, knowing that Montana has been “discovered,” are buying homes and holding them for higher prices. Part-time Montana residents are also a factor in the growing need for affordable housing. “A lot of the supply has ...

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Partly cloudy. Tonight Partly cloudy skiesLow around 10FWinds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Updated: March 5, 2018 @ 7:53 pm Full Forecast Facebook YouTube Instagram { "@context" : "", "@type" : "Organization", "url" : "", "sameAs" : ["","",""] } jQuery(document).ready(function(){ $('.follow-links-1264291 li a').tooltip({ placement:'bottom' }); }); Sign Up Log In Dashboard Logout My Account Dashboard Profile Saved items Logout Toggle navigation Search $('#site-search-1264288-btn').on(__tnt.client.clickEvent, function(){ $('#site-search-1264288').submit(); return false; }); $('#site-search-1264288').on('submit', function(){ // Filter query var sQueryFiltered = $("#site-search-1264288 input[name=q]").val().replace(/\?/g, '); $("#site-search-1264288 input[name=q]").val( sQueryFiltered ); if( $('#site-search-1264288-term').val() ){ $('#site-search-1264288-btn .fa').removeClass('fa-search').addClass('fa-spinner fa-spin'); return true; }else{ return false; } }); Home About News Regional News Sports Opinions Classifieds Customer Service Subscribe Pay on Account Place a Classified Ad Submit News Article Letter to the Editor Contact Us Advertise Purchase Photos Calendar e-Edition Close 1 of 5 Firefighters from five area departments work to extinguish the flames in one Boulder mobile home as smoke still rises from another one, totally lost, behind them. by Jan Anderson/Boulder Monitor Facebook Twitter Email Print Save The owner of a newly-finished home in an affordable housing project in Boulder raises the flag on dedication day. by Jan Anderson/Boulder Monitor Facebook Twitter Email Print Save An electronic fireplace on the wall of her living room helps Becky Robinson keep heating costs down in her new Whitehall home. by Jan Anderson/Boulder Monitor Facebook Twitter Email Print Save The day after a fire rushed through a Boulder trailer park in June 2016, ashes are all that remain of two family homes. by Jan Anderson/Boulder Monitor Facebook Twitter Email Print Save The exterior of a Whitehall home built through the National Affordable Housing Network is partially warmed by solar panels on the garage roof. by Jan Anderson/Boulder Monitor Facebook Twitter Email Print Save .asset-paging .direction { color: #cfcabf; } jQuery(document).ready(function($){ function asset_prevNextContent(oAsset, sPos){ var sPosTitle = (sPos === 'prev') ? 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But when city officials responded with proposed regulatory changes, occupants of the trailer court showed up in droves to protestThe initial proposal called for phasing out the structures older than the 1976 HUD Code within five years and for establishing wider spacing requirements.Denise Lagenvall told the City Council she lived in a 1964 trailer within 30 feet of her neighbor“I own the trailerI don’t own the land,” she said“According to your new rules, I’m going to be homeless in five years.”Area resident Wanda Stout told city officials, “It’s going to affect a lot of people that cannot just pick up and change … It’s going to hurt this community.”Other mobile home occupants told the council they had no real optionsThey simply could not afford other available housing in town.According to “White Paper: Housing in Montana,” a 2012 publication of the Montana Department of Commerce, the average income in Jefferson County fell about $45,000 to $50,000 short of the single family home median purchase priceThe average elementary school teacher could not afford the median purchase price, nor could a retail salesperson, the report said.In a visit with the Jefferson County Commission in 2009, Jeff Miller of Rocky Mountain Development Corporation said a 2005 housing assessment of the tri-county area of Jefferson, Broadwater and Lewis and Clark counties found nearly 20 percent of homeowners spent more than 30 percent of their household income for housing and utilities, the threshold defining affordable housingNearly 30 percent of renters exceeded the 30 percent mark, he saidHe described the trends as “pretty interesting and kind of alarming.”Housing costsMore than 35 percent of homeowners in Jefferson County and more than 37 percent of renters were paying more than the 30 percent of household income for housing.By 2015, the statistics were even worse.Federal statistics compiled by Headwaters Economics say by 2015 more than 35 percent of homeowners in Jefferson County and more than 37 percent of renters were paying more than the 30

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