Finding an affordable place to live is a burden on many in Flathead County where housing prices are 70% more expensive than homes in Missoula County.
“So, my family and I have been living in the same rental for the last four years, we moved in because it was three bedrooms, it had a garage and its large yard -- and the price was right. We pay $1,050 which is great," said Kate Williams who lives in Kalispell and works for Kalispell Regional Healthcare.
But Williams was told by the property owners that she had to move out in order for the owners to remodel the home.
“It’s hard because it’s hard because nowadays to be able to find a three-bedroom home, you can pay upwards of $1,600 to $1,800," said Williams.
Finding a home in the Flathead Valley within the Williams family’s price range has been difficult.
“And with that amount of money on the market is manufactured homes, which our mortgage we have been approved for does not cover," said Williams.
According to the Montana Budget and Policy Center during the 2016 Census, 85% of people who are renting are spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
Ryan Pokorny, Frontier West Properties owner says that rentals have seen an increase in price, "especially as of late you know, 20 the latter half of 2019-2020 and obviously, I think into 2021 it's really going up."
Tayzha Hawk is another resident of Kalispell that has been struggling to stay afloat with the high costs.
“It’s unbelievable how expensive the prices are considering the fact you still have to pay it utilities on top of all the rent," said Hawk.
Pokorny says the high prices in rent are due to owners increasing the payments due to the growing housing market.
“Owners have been increasing rent to keep up with the market you know, and some tenants may be priced out of the place there," said Pokorny.
Pokorny says that not all tenants are being priced out but have seen some increases. But Hawk says that she is struggling to save for a home for her and her family.
“By the end of the month we also don't have many funds that would be put into saving after all the bills and whatnot that we pay already," said Hawk.
Pokorny says that there are programs for people who are struggling with affording housing, "there's always the programs like unity action partnership they can start there. There's a lot of assistance out there,."
For those struggling you can visit here for more ways to receive rental assistance.
MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.