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Malheur County group narrows priority list for lawmakers

Creating more housing opportunities locally while easing regulations between Oregon and Idaho are two crucial goals for a local economic development board. (The Enterprise/File).

ONTARIO – The numbers tell a bleak story for Ontario real estate agent Larry Wilson.

In 2014, Wilson said, 52 new homes went up in Payette County. That same year in Malheur County, 22 new homes were framed.

The following year, builders put up 69 homes in Payette County and just 25 in Malheur County.

Over the next two years, Wilson said, the trend continued.

“Payette County has 410 square miles. Malheur County is 9,000 square miles. All that room and we have declining growth, numbers and declining (home) sales.”

Wilson, who is also a Malheur County commissioner, is on the front lines of what many in eastern . . .