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Jackson Businesses Open With Limited Hours Due To Lack Of Employee Housing

Downtown Jackson Hole
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Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0

The Jackson Hole library, recreation center and a couple of restaurants have announced that they will have limited opening hours this summer.

But this is not because of a lack of workforce. The problem is a lack of affordable housing for employees. This issue isn't new for the valley. But housing advocate and Shelter JH board member Ryan Nourai said this past year has made the problem worse, as real estate and rental prices have skyrocketed. A recording-breaking amount of visitation to the area is also expected this season.

"Home prices have inflated to an amount that is clearly artificial. And also, just because of the demand, there is a bubble, but the amount has just gone up incredibly, and people cannot afford the rent," said Nourai.

So Nourai and two other business owners are matching donations to Shelter JH until June 7. Shelter JH is a 501(c)4 housing advocacy group in Jackson.

"We really want to put our money where our mouth is," said Nourai. "We want to build this grassroots organization that is able to look at the long run and have conversations about how we can plan for the next two years, five years when it comes to housing."

He said all options need to be on the table, including real estate transfer tax or a general penny sales tax.

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