Housing for Workers is Non-Negotiable, Consultant Says

By October 7, 2016 News

Housing for Workers is Non-Negotiable, Consultant Says

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STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

With 700 new jobs projected for Blaine County in the next five years, the housing problem is only going to become more severe if nothing is done.

Especially since 70 percent of those new jobs are expected to be lower income positions.

That’s what Jon Roberts, director of the Austin-based TIP Strategies economic development consulting firm told 250 people attending the Sun Valley Economic Development’s fifth annual Economic Summit Thursday at the Sun Valley Inn.

“There’s always the option of doing nothing. But doing nothing has consequences for both the environment and the tourist-based economy,” he said.

“Providing quality, affordable housing is non-negotiable, thanks in part to the lower wages of many of those in the valley,” he said.

“To say you don’t want to do anything is not an option,” he said. “The future of economic vitality here requires greater diversification. And, if you buy into that, then diversity of housing is also required.”

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