The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the construction of an eight-unit apartment complex to be built in the Woodside subdivision. The Wood River Valley has suffered in recent years for its lack of affordable housing.
The new construction is part of an effort to create more affordable housing in Blaine County, where rental rates have exploded over the past two years. The ARCH Community Housing Trust is funding the construction.
Executive Director Michelle Griffith says investors bought up foreclosed properties during the Great Recession.
“The investors have the opportunity, which is understandable because that’s the way the free market works, to charge what the market will bear for rent,” says Griffith. “That is leading to an extreme escalation in the price of rental homes in that neighborhood.”
She says these high prices are not only impacting the housing market, but also the job market.
According to Griffith, the shortage in affordable, available housing is constraining the job market and small businesses. She says the business community has given strong support to the efforts made by the Housing Trust, because they need the labor.
“If you look at our local paper, you will see that there are seven columns of help-wanted ads, and one-a-half columns of rentals,” says Griffith.
Griffith credits the Idaho Housing and Finance Association for recognizing a statewide need for affordable rental housing. The units take advantage of federal tax credits.
For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio