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Housing task force aims to better understand Montana housing crisis

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Posted at 6:59 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 08:59:02-04

HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte has recently put together a task force in order to provide recommendations on how to make more affordable and attainable housing for Montanans.

“So, our population has gone up and our housing supply is outpaced by how many people want to live here. What that results in is a challenge for supply and demand, and also cost of housing as is outpaced a lot of people's income and that's a very significant challenge that the governor has identified,” says Chris Dorrington, the director of the Department of Environmental Quality and task force chair.

Dorrington is preparing for the task force’s first meeting this upcoming Wednesday, July 20. The bipartisan task force’s goal is to better understand what is causing the lack of affordable and attainable housing for Montanans and how they can best remedy that.

According to Realtor.com, the median listing home price in Helena was at $496K in June of 2022. That’s over a $100K jump in median price when compared to 1 year previous.

In Missoula, the median single-family home price shot up by about 45% from the end of 2019 to the end of 2021 according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The task force consists of a broad brushstroke of different sectors such as the banking industry, Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau, and more.

“It's a broad swath of individuals who have expertise in all areas of housing. And that's the way to develop a solution is broad interest, holistic approach,” says Dorrington.

During the process, there will be opportunity for the public to give their input to the task force.

Towards the end of the year, the task force will present its findings to the governor. That report will later be made publicly available. The task force’s final meeting with the governor will be on December 15.