Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - It’s a familiar theme as this election season rolls along; the lack of not just affordable housing, but the shortage of housing altogether in Montana.

U.S. House candidate Monica Tranel was in the KGVO studio on Thursday and shared a poignant story from a community she visited while campaigning in western Montana.

Monica Tranel Shared a Poignant Story about Housing in Western Montana

“One of the things that I think we need to talk about is the acute issue (of housing),” said Tranel. “There are people who are working in Montana who don't have a house, and that's real everywhere across western Montana. There's a business in this district, and the guy who runs it was frustrated with the people sleeping in his (parking) lot, and so one morning he went to kick out somebody who was sleeping there, and it was his best employee.”

Tranel is not alone among state and community leaders concerned about just this issue.

In March 2022, County Commissioner Josh Slotnick responded to a question about the housing shortage in Missoula with this comment:

READ MORE: Missoula County Commissioners Discuss Zoning Change and Larchmont

“What is costing so much money is that we are the victims of intense national demand,” said Slotnick. “We are growing at an incredibly rapid pace and thanks to the “ZOOM” phenomenon where people who work on the coasts can now live in Missoula. They're working on the coasts working off of a wage scale that is not ours, but living here and then applying those funds to this housing market and exercising that demand far more than anything else is what is pushing the cost of housing up. We have national demand and local supply.”

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte also addressed the issue of a housing shortage in the state when he spoke of the then-newly formed Affordable Housing Task Force.

Governor Gianforte Echoed the Woes on the Lack of Affordable Housing

“We have a supply problem,” said Gianforte. “I think affordable housing is probably the number one issue facing working families in Montana. It's an integral part of the American dream, and we’ve got to fix it. So I've asked them (the task force) to come up with a bunch of ideas, such as ‘how do we get more trades folks’? ‘How do we reduce the impact of regulations’? ‘What should we change in zoning?’, and any other good ideas they have, and then we'll look at implementing those ideas in the next legislative session so we can make home ownership more attainable for more hardworking Montanans.”

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Montana's Most Viewed Home on Zillow in 2023

See photos of the home in Bigfork, Montana that was the most viewed on Zillow in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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