July 22, 2019
Dear Chairwoman Macker, Mayor Muldoon, Teton County Commissioners and Town
Thank you for considering updating some of the Housing Rules & Regulations that
were adopted last summer. It has been slightly over a year since they were adopted,
and keeping these rules and regulations evolving with additional data and
consideration is crucial for housing in our community.
We fully support keeping the requirement that homeowners should occupy their
affordable and workforce restricted homes at a minimum of 10 months per year. This
requirement aligns with the community goals of housing people who live and work in
Teton County. Members of the workforce, who live locally, are more likely to be
engaged in community activity; volunteer their time; raise families, and contribute to
the fabric of community life. 10 out of 12 months a year provides a reasonable
framework and still allows for the homeowner or renter the flexibility of being away 60
days a year.
The minimum occupancy requirement is an interesting policy and one that probably
should remain flexible given how the demographics of those applying for housing
changes from project to project and year to year. Our community goal is to house more
people, so applicants that meet 1 or 2 adults plus at least one dependent should get a
weighted application for a 2-bedroom unit. Couples should be allowed to enter lotteries
for 2-bedroom units with the caveat that families that can immediately fill all bedrooms
will get priority.
One-bedroom unit inventory is low for the number of individuals and couples applying
for units that come available. The weighted drawing for adults plus dependents will
ensure that more bedrooms are being occupied and not empty, while still providing
housing opportunities for couples in Teton County.
Reliable, affordable childcare is essential for a community, family, and workforce. Early
childcare is a growing need in our community, and several places are wrestling with
how to keep teachers, many of whom live in Victor/Driggs and Alpine. Last winter, with
its multiple road closures, proved that not only our TCSD teachers but also our early
childhood teachers need access to affordable housing in Teton County.
Early childhood caretakers and teachers should be added to the definition of “teacher”
under the Housing Rules and Regulations. This identification is a critical step to
recognize their importance in our community and to the invaluable service they provide
to families and the individual child.
Thank you again for taking up these policy questions for discussion, and we hope that
you will continue to work towards a variety of housing solutions for Teton County.
Jackson Hole Working