The majority of people in our valley agree that affordable housing is one of the most important and pressing issues we face as a community.
We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country and have been given a high monetary value for our properties. Those who can afford a piece of this paradise are not typically our workforce. But, unless you are a homesteader or an off-the-grid survivalist, you need that workforce population to support your enjoyment of this small-town life.
The number of people it takes for most of us to enjoy this life is endless. We all need the workers that build our homes, clean them, mow our lawns, deliver our mail, teach our children, cook and serve our dinners, stock our grocery store shelves, maintain our ski runs, trails and more. Our workers deserve a stable roof over their heads, too—it benefits the whole, not just the individual. Humans are still animals in an ecosystem, there must be a balance to maintain a healthy home.
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$1700 for a 1 bed room with no parking is hardly affordable... Not to mention the HOA dues.... I know people who live in affordable units where the HOA is almost as much as their mortgage. Applicants should have to submit
their net worth... Not what they currently make....
I agree that net worth should be a qualification.
They aren't allowed to own other residences when they sign the initial lease. However, that restrictions does not seem to be enforced once they have moved in. Indeed, enforcement of restrictions is pretty lax.
Achieving the level of affordable housing that many believe is optimum is a zero sum game, never achievable IMO. The cheap money supplied by our Federal Reserve for the last 20 years has created a serious problem of a few having much and many having little. Until we balance that inequity, problems like housing in areas with limited building space (Wood River Valley) will never have enough reasonably priced units of housing. Make housing cheap enough and thousands of the have nots will appear, looking to live in a terrific place and willing to work for the haves who can afford their labor. If you think about it, a reasonable balance in not achievable. The last 30 years, even with much effort on the part of advocates of affordable housing, proves the point. The situation is as more dire now than ever! It's a fools endeavor to believe otherwise! JMO
Doesn't it depend on your approach? Affordable housing for who? If your goal is to meet all the demand for affordable housing, of course that can never be achieved, as demand is infinite for a place as nice as this. That is a fundamental flaw in the Ketchum Housing Action Plan--it wants to meet demand. The other approach would be to focus on the need. A functioning community needs certain kinds of workers--like city employees for streets, cops, first responders, health care professionals, teachers, etc. However, it is the official policy of Ketchum that no one job is prioritized over any other (listen to the last couple of Council meetings, especially to the Mayor's comments on this). Thus, housing retirees from out of town who can make the income cap in Bluebird is just fine. Likewise, corporate welfare to house people who work for large corporations like Sun Valley Co and Coldwell Banker, as the current lease to locals program does, is just fine with them. There is no thought given to how to maximize the the likelihood of housing essential workers. It is more about how to maximize the number of low income housing units in the commercial core to promote "vibrancy". Like "workforce," which they have re-defined to include people who choose not to work, they have redefined vibrancy to mean as more people living in the commercial core. I can't figure out why that is a priority.
"all the demand for affordable housing, of course that can never be achieved, as demand is infinite for a place as nice as this. Perry this is the most cynical thing you've said. There is no solution, right, just the onslaught of the rich and their need to be serviced and maintained. Dennis Wright is spot on, about growth, it's a fools errand to think could buy ourselves out of this situation.
Miles- Who should pay for all this housing for the people needed to service and maintain the rich? Surely, you do not think that everbody else who is not so rich should be coerced through the tax system into doing this! My guess is that the rich who want to live here will figure it out for themselves along with businesses, but will take whatever handout others are willing to give them. There looks like there is a lot of desire on the part of so many people, rich, poor and in between, for entitlement. That is, entiltlement to live in a resort area when one cannot afford it and for people who can, but need to be "serviced and maintained" from the pocketbook of others. Finally, if the LOT does not pass on what day will the whole valley be closing down?
I am sure I have said many things more cynical than that. Do you think it is an incorrect assertion? Happy to point you to some free online classes on economics. There is a directional set of solutions, and I have proposed them multiple times. 1. Stop making the housing problem worse. The Marriott is a great example of that. It is only coming to Ketchum because this Council gave them the waivers they wanted to build a 6 story 95 room chain hotel at the entrance to town. We already have two of those, on a smaller scale. How does the Marriott make anything better for anyone who currently lives and works in Ketchum? Why just give them waivers that will make them millions that they will take out of Ketchum and get zero in return? And don't make even more STRs with this new ADU push they have going on. They already know they have at least 1,000 bedrooms in the STR pool, but they believe this number may be substantially under-counted. 2. Don't tax the locals, tax the tourists for the impact of tourism on housing. That is the whole legislative rationale behind the LOT. Things were a lot better for working people before we let all the LTRs go to AirBNB. Why have a sales tax on locals instead of raising the lodging tax? In particular, it is bizarre to tax locals to spend on tourism promotion when we don't have any shortage of tourism. Even the minority portion of 1% of Air that is actually earmarked for air isn't being spent on air--its sitting in a bank. Why should locals subsidize tourism companies like Sun Valley Co? Why can't they pay for their own employee housing and their own promotion? We get zero revenue to the city from their shift to IKON. Yet if you buy a SV pass, you get taxed on it. The LOT is not an inherently bad thing if limited to taxing tourists. It pays for our fire/police. But is is being manipulated to become corporate welfare. 3. Spend the money to subsidize housing for essential workers like what the Mayor calls the "lifeblood" of our community--teachers, first responders, healthcare workers, non-profit workers, city workers. That is far from what they are doing. He lied to us about Bluebird. They are spending millions of Ketchum resources to depress wages for tourism workers and to subsidize retirement in Ketchum--don't we have enough retirees here? We have a worker shortage. Oh, and let's not change the English language to redefine a worker as someone who doesn't work. 4. We will never have enough money to house all our essential workers in Ketchum, so use the money to get the biggest bang for the buck for the community as a whole. Instead of displacing commercial activity with apartment buildings in the retail hub (ask any store what is happening to their rent, or anyone trying to find an office downtown), put housing in the city owned land in the industrial park, or even better, on the city owned land at the southern end of town. Much cheaper land than places like 6th/Leadville. 5. Do a real Comprehensive Plan that reflects the input of the entire community based on statistically valid methods rather than a manipulated "audit" of a plan that was done a decade ago in a very different world. 6. Model out what Ketchum is going to look like in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years based on what City Hall policy is, so that the public can make informed decisions about the future of their community. You might get a chuckle from reading the so-called Master Transportation Plan (if you can find it) or the traffic study we paid for that the Council scrapped because they didn't like what it said--again, if you can find it. 8. If you don't like my solutions, why don't you share a few of your own. Thanks.
@PB. . . "I am sure I have said many things more cynical than that. Do you think it is an incorrect assertion?" No and I share the same cynicism as you, but you are late to the party, these circumstances have been brewing for decades. I appreciate your analysis and the effort you have put in on KT government,but the powers of development, construction industry and realtors have shape the future of the valley, we're doomed to over population.
Books on economics are of little use here. What is of use, if they exist, are books of how over development ruins rural communities and how locals stop it. So, keep up the good fight.
I think this is a pretty typical attitude of someone who is uninformed about how the LOT works and how housing money is spent in Ketchum. Ketchum is not building workforce housing, It is building low income housing that does not require the tenant to work or even be from around here. At Bluebird, the only legal requirement is you make less than a certain amount. You can move here from Boise on a social security check. We should also be aware about how corporations are gaming our housing subsidies. Take lease to locals, where employees of Sun Valley Co and Coldwell Banker are receiving benefits. Why are we not reserving these monies for what the Mayor called the "lifeblood" of our community--teachers, healthcare workers and first responders? What about all the non-profit workers who contribute so much to our community for so little. Why should we be building housing for Marriott hotel employees? Before we start taxing ourselves for something that sound good, like workforce housing, maybe we should understand just what that means. Did you know that the Ketchum Housing Action Plan defines workforce to include people who choose not to work? They also tried to define homelessness as people who commute more than 45 minutes, but we got that out. We are only going to have limited funds for taxpayer subsidized housing, We should not be squandering those monies on corporate welfare and absurdly expensive housing on absurdly expensive land in the commercial district when we have better options within walking distance. We should do what the Mayor said he would do--prioritize the people we need to run a functioning town, not just provide housing to anyone who want to live here--that demand is infinite. I urge this writer to better educate herself about how the money flows--I think she might be appalled.
Perry- Why is it that every new hotel, business, and residence in Ketchum has not been required to have underground parking? Is it cost or just plain wanting to discourage automobiles and other vehicles in the city? We had a condo in Whistler and that seemed to be SOP. Of course, there are a lot of lessons there for the city fathers of Ketchum to learn!
Not only not required, it is discouraged by policy. For example, the new buildings going up on Main Street will have parking only for the full paying residents. The subsidized residents get no parking. These buildings include retail space, and not only are not required to provide parking, but parking spots are being lost in their construction (e.g., Formula Sports lot) and along Main Street. The few that remain on Main Street will be eliminated if the Council proceeds with its current traffic plan for Main Street. Why is this? Harder to answer. The Mayor rides his bike everywhere. One councilman rides his bike or skateboards to meetings. So perhaps they feel all the residents of Ketchum should be doing the same thing? The council has also stated that they would prefer space to go to low income housing rather than to parking as a general rule. Again, there is no actual plan. No one has modeled out what Ketchum will look like in even 2 years, much less 10 years. I think people would be shocked if they had the full information on what is about to happen to us.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Sun Valley Properties
Ah, the many wonderful benefits of being a sanctuary valley! enjoy paying higher taxes, bonds to improve city infrastructure and higher crime rates, isn't it so wonderful what our valley has become, thank you so much city council members!
Almost no one calls them out on any of this in public meetings, so they think that everyone agrees with what they are doing, They don't care about posts here, or even to written public comment, but they do respond to people who show up to the meetings. It's pretty much the only way they take input from the public, besides their non-statistically valid focus groups and surveys.
Since 2017 millennial income is up 44%.
Millennial home ownership is up 64% in five years.
(Nevada Independent News)
Welcome to the discussion.