Addressing a lack of affordable housing in Teton County
By Benjamin Cushman, Idaho Housing and Finance Association
Reference link: https://www.idahohousing.com/blog/addressing-a-lack-of-affordable-housing-in-teton-county/
With its amazing views of the Teton mountains, easy access to the great outdoors and world-class skiing at their doorstep, it’s easy to see why people would want to call the city of Driggs home. Over the past few years, the Idaho community has seen an influx of people moving into the area. Others have seen an opportunity to invest in property, buying homes and offering them to the region’s many tourists as short-term rentals.
Unfortunately, the popularity of the region is causing pain for those who have called Driggs and Teton County home for years. Driggs Mayor, August Christensen, says she’s watched rents double and triple over the last few years. That has made it much harder for the community’s vital workers to find a place to live. Many have left the region, choosing to commute from cities such as Rexburg and Idaho Falls. That can be a challenge though, especially in the winter, when bad weather often closes Highway 33, the only major road leading to Driggs.
Fortunately, leaders around Teton County are doing more than just talking about the problem. Together, they worked to create the Teton County Joint Housing Authority, whose mission is to build the housing necessary for the region’s workforce. One of the agency’s first projects is Depot Square, a 34 unit apartment building just a block off of Main Street. See how the project is creating more housing opportunities for workers in the region and how the work of Idaho Housing and Finance helped make it a reality.