Missoula mayoral candidates answer housing question

Real estate experts say there has never been a better time to buy houses than now.

MISSOULA, Mont. - We asked our viewers to send in questions for the candidates running for mayor in Missoula.

Wednesday we are focusing on housing.

Many are saying wages don't match housing costs in the Garden City. One viewer believes a large amount of development in Missoula in recent years lacks affordable housing and wants to know what each candidate will do to make affordable housing a priority.

Here's what each candidate had to say.

"I think the affordable housing affects not just the low-income population but so many factors of Missoula. It affects the fixed-income people whose income is being chipped away at by higher taxes. It affects the renters whose landlords are passing on rents because of the taxes. It affects students who are coming out with high loans. I just want to see Missoula become a place where kids can stay here and raise their families. Right now I don't think it's affordable to do so. I think the affordability issue covers everybody in Missoula," said Lisa Triepke.

"Missoulians deserve safe, decent places to live. Without that it's really hard to build a full, productive life and fully participate in our community. So the housing office is doing a couple of things. We're working with the organization of realtors to understand the housing market and what we need to do to improve access and opportunity and affordability. The second thing we are doing is doing our work with the 10-year plan to end homelessness so we no longer have people who are living on the street, who shouldn't be living on the street," said Mayor John Engen.

Engen has been in office 12 years, which is raising questions of term limits during this election.

Both candidates will weigh in on term limits Thursday.