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Billings’ dramatic housing boom

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region (2) – 9/2/21

Drawn by Montana’s outdoor lifestyle and the new world of remote work possibilities, many who were once anchored to coastal cities are now moving to the West. Billings, Montana, is no exception to this dramatic boom. The median cost of a single-family home jumped from $294,000 to $342,000 in the last year, a 16 percent increase. It doesn’t bode well for those who make Billings’ average $60,000 salary, however, and the city recognizes the problem. City leaders are focusing on land-use regulations so developers are incentivized to create a more diverse housing landscape. “We need a broad variety of housing types, from the very top end of the market to affordable rental units,” Billings Mayor Bill Cole told Montana Free Press. “We need to make sure we cover the whole spectrum, and government can help that through good planning, reasonable regulation and a customer-orientated approach that creates public-private partnerships with developers so that we can build the community together.”

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