An agreement forged between ARCH Community Housing Trust and the city of Hailey on Monday night will likely bring nine affordable units to Woodside subdivision.
Once considered for a fire station, the one-acre property—located near the intersection of Woodside Boulevard and Countryside Drive—is currently vacant and city-owned, and in November was allocated to the Housing Trust.
ARCH has already received federal funding for three rental homes and three ownership homes, according to Executive Director Michelle Griffith. The neighborhood would set aside two units for residents earning 30 percent of the area median income or less, which translates to around $16,000 for a single adult, and reserve remaining units for those earning between 30 and 80 percent of area income.
“There’s nothing in Hailey that currently serves the [30 percent] income category. We already have a waiting list of residents,” Griffith said during a City Council meeting Monday. “In the case that a tenant would start earning more, we’d just make sure they’re paying 30 percent of their income” per U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines.
During the meeting, Griffith asked for direction on which populations should receive priority for housing. Occupations discussed included emergency service workers, Mountain Rides employees, government workers and Blaine County School District staff.
While Mayor Martha Burke expressed priority for bus drivers and Councilman Juan Martinez stressed the housing needs of School District employees, Councilman Sam Linnet said reserving units for occupants based on job category isn’t fair.
“I don’t want to be the one saying, ‘This group of people needs [affordable housing] more or deserves it more than another group,’” he said. “I wouldn’t feel good about that.”
Following the conversation, the council directed City Attorney Chris Simms to draft a master plan with ARCH and agreed to continue discussing priority groups. ARCH hopes to obtain a building permitting in mid-April, Griffith said.