By Mike Dennison, KBZK


HELENA — Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on the 2021 Legislature’s actions to address the affordable-housing crisis in Montana

As housing prices and rent escalate in many areas of the state, Republicans in the 2021 Legislature are pursuing less regulation on builders and property owners, aimed at speeding development to ease a shortage in housing.

“The biggest thing that’s going to drive down pricing, or keep it stable, is a bigger supply of what you sell,” said state Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson. “We have a high demand right now for housing in Montana. We don’t have the inventory there.”

Hertz is sponsoring a bill to narrow what local officials can consider, when reviewing subdivisions – one of several such bills from GOP lawmakers.

Most are passing along party-line votes, with majority Republicans in favor.

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