Workforce Housing

Where I Stand:

○ Create a Workforce Housing Overlay focused in the urban core of Jackson and Teton Village that allows significant density incentives for employment based deed restricted units.
○ Remove parking requirements from new workforce housing development.
○ Do not increase commercial or free market residential zoning rights.
○ Do not waste tax payer dollars on direct housing subsidies to private individuals and businesses.
○ Use tax payer dollars to subsidize government employee housing and housing for people with disabilities.
○ Ensure robust enforcement of the deed restrictions on the current subsidized housing supply, and of the zoning rules regarding short term rentals.


The Challenge:

Jackson Hole has a zoning imbalance. We have reasonable opportunities for commercial and free market residential growth, but almost no opportunity for workforce housing development. Our current low density zoning requires massive subsidies to produce housing for our workforce. When government money subsidizes housing for private sector employees it’s just another form of corporate welfare. The opportunities for waste, mismanagement, fraud and cronyism are too great. The tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies envisioned by the Community Priorities Fund and the General Excise Tax increase it requires will have very little effect on our workforce housing problems. The subsidies of $100,000 to $400,000 per unit are just too high.


The Solution:

We need to create a workforce housing overlay that is focused on the core urban areas of Town and Teton Village. These are areas that already have commercial zoning and have easy walking access to shopping, transit, entertainment and work. Within the overlay we need to allow significant density incentives in exchange for employment based deed restricted housing. Only people that physically work in Jackson Hole will be allowed to live in these units. They should be limited in size to increase affordability, and there should be no parking requirements on these units. These units should be bought and sold with no price appreciation restrictions, and anyone should be able to own one including: individuals, private employers, and government entities.

Individuals can buy these units to live in or as an investment. Private employers can purchase them and rent them to their employees at market rates or subsidize the rent if they wish. Government can purchase units to rent to their own employees and for people in the community that are disabled or are in crisis. These units should be required to pay homeowners fees that would cover enforcement of the deed restrictions, enforcement of parking restrictions, and to subsidize robust start service to the property.

By using zoning incentives rather than direct taxpayer subsidies we can get the government out of the housing business with all the waste, mismanagement and corporate welfare that risks.

Questions, comments, concerns? Do you have a better idea? Contact Me.