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Remote Workers Spur an Affordable Housing Crunch in Montana

Bozeman mountains

Bozeman has become a haven for coastal refugees as the pandemic drags on, intensifying a housing crisis for existing residents of the town.

For the white-collar worker fleeing a pandemic-ravaged metropolis, Bozeman has a lot to offer. The Montana city of just under 50,000 is an hour’s drive from the award-winning Big Sky ski resort, and local businesses like the Rocking R Bar and Cactus Records radiate small-town charm. The one thing newcomers won’t be able to escape: big-city prices.

“The Wendy’s in town pays $15 an hour with a signup bonus, which is very out of scale for a town in Montana, but they have to do that,” Matsen says. “It’s really hard to afford living here if you’re not making that much.”

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