Nowhere to go: Missoula leaders look to address housing crisis

David Erickson

Friday was a move-in day for several new residents at Westside Place, an affordable housing complex in Missoula’s Westside neighborhood. It’s part of the 202-unit Trinity project, a collaboration between Homeword, the Missoula Housing Authority, the city, the county, BlueLine Development and other partners.

One of the first residents is a woman who moved into the complex with her child after transitioning out of the YWCA Missoula’s Pathways program for survivors of domestic abuse. She asked that her name not be used for safety reasons, but tears of joy flowed down her cheeks on Friday as she described how her life has changed now that she’s got stable, affordable housing.

“It’s really amazing, this kind of thing,” she said. “It opens the doors for so many more things.”

The homes are income-restricted and the rents are much lower than market rate in Missoula, where housing prices have skyrocketed in the last decade, far beyond wages.

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Not all the units are quite ready for move-in yet, but the opening of the project is a transformative moment for Missoula, a city struggling with an acute affordable housing

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