Old County Courthouse; winter

Blaine County government tackled many issues in 2022 including affordable housing and COVID fund distribution..

A consortium of local nonprofits are asking Blaine County to take more aggressive action to help the nearly 100 residents they say are living out the winter in “substandard housing” without heat, electricity or running water.

During the Blaine County commissioner’s regular meeting Tuesday in Hailey, The Hunger Coalition, Alliance of Idaho, Blaine County School District, Blaine County Charitable Fund, Blaine County Recreation District and St. Luke’s Center for Community Health delivered a cosigned letter asking the county and other jurisdictions to declare a state of emergency, mobilize local resources, create a task force and establish a “robust communication platform” to take on the what they view as an ongoing crisis.

“Many area nonprofits have come together in recent weeks to provide short-term assistance, and in doing so, have no doubt averted medical emergencies and even fatalities,” the letter states. “But our nonprofits are not equipped to provide longer-term, systemic solutions. We are not experts in emergency housing or emergency response operations.

Additional reporting by Emily Jones

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