Eviction report highlights issues facing renters in Montana

David Erickson

A significant portion of people in Montana who faced eviction during the pandemic were either single mothers, very low-income, had mental illness issues in their household before they lost their housing or fell into all those categories. Many also ended up homeless, according to a new report from a team of data analysts and civil legal aid providers.

The Montana Eviction Impact Report was released in November by the nonprofit Montana Legal Services Association and sciGaia, an analytics company.

The report’s main conclusion was that evictions stem mainly from working-class people not being able to afford basic necessities.

The study’s authors got back responses from 65 households across the state who had reached out to the association between March of 2020 and September of 2022 for help in dealing with eviction. Every single respondent said they had experienced increased expenses before the eviction, including for medical emergencies, added child care expenses, domestic violence, divorce or added elderly dependents. Almost half of all households facing evictions had at least one child, and 69% had a mental illness in the home.

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