Resort Towns Rethink Housing Subsidies

Resort towns in Wyoming are trying to preserve middle class populations and public servants by offering housing subsidies to relatively well-off families.

"The home is the equivalent of real estate gold: He and his wife, Jessica, recently purchased it for $230,000, a far cry from its $750,000 market price."

"In most of the country, the two-income couple would be unlikely candidates for subsidized housing. But in this Rocky Mountain resort town, where the median home price is $1.2 million, officials have made it a top priority to keep public employees and other middle-income residents living in town, and if that means subsidizing families with incomes up to six figures, so be it."

"Towns like Jackson are increasingly relying on affordable-housing programs to stay vibrant while the wealthy snap up million-dollar vacation properties with sprawling views of the craggy, snowcapped mountains. In one ski town, the city manager - who earns $125,000 a year - lives in subsidized housing."

"Christine Walker, director of Teton County Housing Authority in Jackson, said the goal is to prevent people from having to commute from more affordable towns. Since the wealthy are using the homes as vacation destinations, they aren't living there full time, so the communities would wilt in the off season without a steady population."

Full Story: In Wyo. resort, affordable housing takes on a completely new meaning


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