WHITEFISH – The Flathead Valley has been rapidly growing and according to Data USA, Flathead County is the fourth most populated county in Montana.
While the Flathead is expanding and providing jobs, folks are having trouble finding housing in the expensive market.
Whitefish Planning and Building Director David Taylor says that about 65% of Whitefish workers don’t live in town because many of them can’t afford it.
“A lot of the restaurants and Whitefish Mountain Resort came to us and said we have a problem, we can’t find workers,” Taylor said. “We can’t find people to work in restaurants, it’s too far for people to drive, what can we do about these housing needs?”
Whitefish is responding to this problem and has approved three separate apartment complexes for the city, all with affordable housing options.
Some 234 units will go in where the old North Valley Hospital used to be, a 38-unit complex will be at the intersection of Edgewood and Iowa and a complex will go where the city used to store excess snow.
To address traffic, the city plans on widening to extend 15th Street from the highway into the complex.
Taylor says the community could see these new apartments completed within the next five years.