Missoulian week in review: Local news recap for Oct. 14-20

The metrics and anecdotes surrounding Missoula’s affordable housing crisis are dire, city housing policy specialist Emily Harris-Shears told city council members this month as she prepares to apply for a $10 million federal grant to help alleviate the problem.

For example, the median home sales price in Missoula rose 158% from 2012 to 2022, while the Area Median Income increased only 59% in that same time. The daily struggle of thousands of Missoulians can be explained in that one statistic.

Also, the rental vacancy rate in Missoula hasn’t been over 2% since the end of 2020 or above 4% since the first part of 2018. A healthy market, where landlords must drop prices to be competitive for renters, would be 5-10%.

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There are almost 4,000 renter households in Missoula making less than $20,000 a year yet still paying more than 30% of their income to the landlord.

— David Erickson, david.erickson@missoulian.com

Missoula County’s first Targeted Economic Development District, introduced in the Wye area in 2020, has generated hundreds of thousands in tax increment financing in the few years it’s been active.

Based on that success and new legislation from the state, the county

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