Rental Housing In Montana

Montana Rental Overview

The population of Montana, according to the 2010 Census, is 989,415. The total number of households in the state is 409,607. The average household size for Montana is 2.3. The total number of renter households in the state is 131,189 which means that 32.03% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Montana is ranked 30th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Montana is $683 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Montana ranks 46th for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,387 and West Virginia ranks last at $618. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Montana is 9,461 representing a vacancy rate of 6.9%. Among all U.S. states, Montana ranks 23rd for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Montana’s rental housing portfolio is performing at the National average.

Project Based Section 8 92 4,151
Section 202 18 766
Section 811 8 184
Section 515 128 2,251
RDRA 120 1,875
LIHTC 171 4,839
Senior 93 2,608
Public Housing 13 1,069
Section 8 Voucher 12 6,531
Total 357 11,167
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Montana there are 12 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Montana is 31.30. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Billings at 1,517 units and the smallest is Froid at 4 unit(s). 93 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 2,608 units. Of the 11,167 units, 3,895 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Montana ranked by federally assisted units

There are 52 counties or county equivalents in Montana. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is Yellowstone County at 147,972 and the smallest is Golden Valley County at . The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is Missoula County at 40.56% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Powder River County at 0%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Montana ranges from a low of 0 units per 1,000 renter households in Powder River County to a high of 642.4 units per 1,000 renter households in Lewis and Clark County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Montana is 103.5 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Montana. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
Yellowstone County 1,545
Missoula County 1,479
Flathead County 1,134
Cascade County 959
Gallatin County 840
Lewis and Clark County 654
Silver Bow County 547
Lake County 377
Ravalli County 358
Hill County 296
Park County 230
Custer County 168
Lincoln County 164
Glacier County 155
Valley County 135
Beaverhead County 116
Fergus County 116
Richland County 112
Carbon County 111
Pondera County 107
Toole County 104
Big Horn County 104
Teton County 103
Blaine County 96
Roosevelt County 93
Deer Lodge County 84
Chouteau County 83
Phillips County 79
Musselshell County 74
Powell County 72
Rosebud County 71
Stillwater County 64
Jefferson County 60
Sheridan County 56
Madison County 52
Sanders County 47
Daniels County 46
Broadwater County 34
Liberty County 32
Sweet Grass County 32
Mineral County 32
Dawson County 26
Judith Basin County 20
Meagher County 18
Granite County 16
Wheatland County 12
Petroleum County 6
Powder River County -
Treasure County -
Wibaux County -
Prairie County -
Golden Valley County -

Affordable Housing by City in Montana ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 95 cities in Montana that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 989,415, Manhatten has the largest population of these cities. There are 1 Federally assisted housing communities in Manhatten which are home to about 16 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Montana. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Montana.

CityTotal Units
Billings 1,517
Missoula 1,479
Great Falls 917
Kalispell 726
Bozeman 652
Helena 630
Butte 511
Havre 296
Hamilton 264
Livingston 220
Polson 188
Whitefish 184
Miles City 168
Columbia Falls 136
Glasgow 135
Laurel 121
Libby 120
Dillon 116
Lewistown 116
Sidney 104
Hardin 104
Browning 100
Conrad 99
Shelby 96
Anaconda 84
Red Lodge 80
Pablo 80
Roundup 74
Choteau 73
Ronan 73
Deer Lodge 72
Malta 68
Fort Benton 68
Belgrade 60
West Yellowstone 59
Poplar 57
Bigfork 56
Cut Bank 55
Yellowstone 53
Chinook 53
Corvallis 48
Scobey 46
Plentywood 44
Absarokee 44
Harlem 43
Forsyth 36
Lame Deer 35
Boulder 35
Townsend 34
Thompson Falls 34
Chester 32
Superior 32
Big Fork 32
Big Timber 32
Stevensville 30
Glendive 26
Whitehall 25
Eureka 24
Belt 22
Stanford 20
Fairfield 20
Troy 20
Cascade 20
Columbus 20
Worden 20
Big Sky 19
Bridger 18
Culbertson 16
Helena Valley West Central 16
Wolf Point 16
Philipsburg 16
Manhatten 16
Darby 16
Big Sandy 15
Joliet 13
Harlowton 12
Sheridan 12
Lodgepole 11
Clyde Park 10
White Sulphur Springs 10
Elmo 10
Arlee 10
Dutton 10
Plains 9
Augusta 8
Kevin 8
Westby 8
Valier 8
Fairview 8
White Sulphur Spring 8
St Ignatius 8
Winnett 6
Medicine Lake 4
Trout Creek 4
Froid 4

Housing Authorities in Montana ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 12 housing authorities in Montana. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 12 housing authorities, 58.3% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Montana by total housing assistance units managed is Montana Department of Commerce with 4,280 public housing units under management (0 public housing units and 4,280 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Montana and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Montana Department of Commerce - 4,280
Missoula Housing Authority 176 774
Housing Authority of Billings 274 639
Great Falls Housing Authority 489 265
Helena Housing Authority 366 345
Housing Authority of Butte 352 76
Richland County Housing Authority 81 100
Housing Authority of the City of Anaconda 129 -
Whitefish Housing Authority 50 16
Housing Authority of Glasgow 60 -
City of Ronan Housing Authority - 36
Dawson County Housing Authority 20 -

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Montana has a total of 357 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 11,167 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 4,839 in Montana. The charts below lay out how each Federal program impact affordable housing in Montana.

Federal Programs By Unit Count Hover over a bar to view




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Median Rent


Gross Rent Paid By All Renters


Vacant Units For Rent


Vacancy Rate


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Project Based Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 515 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


RD Rental Assisted Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Units with Project Based Rent Subsidy


Average Units Per Property