Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Workforce Housing Solutions Subject of Roundtable Discussion
Members of the Sun Valley Board of REALTORS banded together for a work day earlier this year to help a Wood River Valley veteran stay in his home.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Housing solutions for mountain towns will be presented at a meeting open to the public from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The meeting will be held at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum.

It is sponsored by the Sun Valley Board of REALTORS, the Building Construction Association of the Wood River Valley, the Chamber of Hailey and Wood River Valley and the Limelight Hotel.

It will feature Natalie Spencer, the founder of APX1.co., the first research, investment and development firm to address workforce housing and food security in resort-based mountain towns

Spencer has surveyed core issues in 26 mountain towns to find and fund best-practice community building solutions.

The average household in Blaine County needs an annual income of $71,260 to afford the average cost of $1,782 a month for a two-bedroom rental, according to the Blaine County Housing Authority. Even with locals living with several roommates, there isn’t enough supply in rental housing and affordable housing to meet workforce demand.

Some neighboring mountain resorts towns face even worse problems, with many workforce residents living in tents, cars or couch surfing. And, without action, some believe that could be the future of the Wood River Valley.

“This issue affects everyone from service employees to doctors to first responders to CEOs,” said Amanda Ornelas, CEO of the Sun Valley Board of REALTORS, which has more than 300 REALTOR members. “Our full-time residents keep our valley alive and it is urgent that we consider all options to give them a hand and stop this crisis.”

More affordable housing would help with the labor shortage, added Chamber Director Mary Austin Crofts.

“Businesses don’t have enough people to staff their businesses and it is affecting their bottom line,” she said.


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