Like many resort towns in Idaho and across the country, our citizens and businesses are dealing with three related crises: lack of affordable housing, lack of available employees, and an overwhelming amount of new visitors and residents.
Many businesses are losing and cannot find employees, both in the service industry and in middle management. Restaurants and retailers have curtailed operating hours. Large companies and local governments have lost key members of their management staff. And it’s getting worse. Quickly.
Factors contributing to the crisis are high construction costs, and the high cost of existing housing as a result of a lucrative short-term rental market, wealthy newcomers and second-home buyers.
With 800 short-term rentals in Teton County, many citizens have been displaced from the long-term rental or ownership market. Homes that just a few years ago sold for $250,000 are now selling for $600,000 and more. For short-term rental investors, who can earn 3.5 times the rate of a long term rental, this makes sense. But normal home buyers and renters are priced out of the market.
Our Housing Authority, local governments, large employers and the economic development coalition are working to solve these issues, but we need additional tools.
Below are some of the upcoming projects, current conversations, and other resources that are relevant to this crisis:
Housing Authority plans (e.g., Housing Needs Assessment, Affordable Housing Strategic Plan, Housing
Supply Strategy) and projects (e.g., Depot Square) can be accessed here.