A recent article in Powder Magazine highlighted the growing problem of affordable housing in ski towns.
“A pervasive housing shortage is afflicting mountain towns from Stowe to Telluride. The issue is not just a question of locals being able to afford million-dollar homes—it’s also about availability.”
Unfortunately, the one ski area to reduce the housing shortage, Whistler, had an opportunity not available to most resorts. After the Olympics, they converted 1000 units of athlete housing to affordable housing. Whistler was lucky, our community, like many others continues to struggle. Many individuals and organizations are looking for solutions in Blaine County. When asked, my response to why Blaine County struggles is twofold.
- Our state legislature does not allow for “Home Rule”, this means that local municipalities can only tax and implement policies and ordinances when allowed to do so by the State of Idaho. In other states (most in fact) local communities have more latitude to implement housing solutions.
- Individuals have been able to derail affordable housing — We allow an individual or small group of individuals to drive housing development.
Here are the statistics:
- 112 units Funded or likely to be funded by ARCH
- 55 units Delivered
- 14 units In Process
- 43 units DENIED by either an individual or small group of individuals
Until we make it uncomfortable for a small minority to derail housing, we will struggle.