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Two upcoming events to address local housing solutions

by Lake County Leader
| August 11, 2021 8:10 AM

As Lake County struggles to solve a local housing crunch, a pair of upcoming events will address the problems and seek out potential solutions.

The city of Polson and Mission West Community Development Partners teamed up in May to host Polson Bounces Back, a gathering at Showboat Stadium 6 to discuss the local economy and the recent pandemic. A persistent labor shortage and the need for affordable housing were dominant topics of conversation during the event.

Businesses across the county, and much of the state, are struggling to hire out-of-town workers because there are so few options for where they might live. And local labor forces have proven insufficient for business demands, particularly in the retail and service markets.

To that end, the city of Polson has scheduled an “Honest Conversation About Housing,” during which attendees can discuss strategies with city staff and members of the Polson Commission. The event is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19 at Blodgett Creamery, 325 Main St. in Polson.

Themes of the discussion will include the difficulty of finding affordable housing, loss of workers and loss of rental homes due to real estate sales.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by emailing BP@cityofpolson.com to reserve a seat.

Prior to the Polson event, Mission West is hosting a similar event in Ronan titled Cooperative Solutions to the Housing Crisis.

The Ronan-based nonprofit will host representatives from the Montana Cooperative Development Center who will present on employer investment housing cooperatives as a means for sustainably increasing the affordable workforce housing supply.

The event begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17 in the main conference room at Mission West Community Development Partners, 407 Main St. in Ronan.

Afterward, there will be a social hour at Ronan Cooperative Brewery (across the street from Mission West) to provide an opportunity to connect and explore the opportunities and challenges our region faces.

The Ronan meeting may be attended remotely via Zoom. Contact Mission West at 406-676-5901 for details.