In order to enhance the social fabric of our community people must live and work in the same area. Those who do make an “investment” in their community by attending social events, frequenting restaurants, volunteering at their children’s schools, shopping locally and supporting charitable causes.
In 2014, the State of Idaho reported that over 3800 people or 40% of the workforce commutes from outside Blaine County daily, many of whom do so because they cannot afford to live in Blaine County. Every Friday approximately $2.2 million in pay checks leave the county (That’s A LOT of $$) to be circulated in Shoshone, Twin Falls, Boise or places in between.
The ripple effect of this is over $1 billion annually. Financial loss aside, the strain the lack of reasonably priced housing places upon vital services in terms of the delayed response time of firefighters, police, and emergency medical services is substantial.
In summary, reasonably priced housing is vital to the diversity and stability of the Wood River Valley economy. The cry from business owners in the area is that the biggest obstacle to their labor woes is finding places for their employees to live.
Community Housing programs such as those offered by the ARCH Community Housing Trust are designed to assist the vast majority of wage earners in this Valley. The program is NOT for the other guy, it is for all of us to build an economically vibrant and socially active community.