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Teton County Looks To Improve Access To Local Workforce Housing

Cars parked in downtown Jackson, Wyoming behind a green mountain.
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The Jackson Hole affordable housing department has increased the money they can provide to help pay for downpayment assistance. The increase comes as officials work to make sure houses are owned by the local workforce.

The Preservation Program came out of trying to figure out ways to retain existing housing in order to serve local workers only.

April Norton, the Teton County/Jackson Hole Affordable Housing director, said the department buys a deed restriction and new homeowners use the money provided as part of their downpayment.

"The people who are able to buy that, or utilize the program, they then have to requalify every year for the workforce program," explained Norton. "In order to qualify for the workforce program, you have to work full time locally for local business."

That's because the deed restriction makes it law. She said they conducted a survey on the new program in July.

"At the time we put out this survey, the cap on what we could provide for down payment assistance was set at $150,000. And the response that we got was $150,000, is not enough to make a home affordable for my household," said Norton.

Another response was that there is a lack of homes available in an affordable price range.

Norton said the county increased the amount of assistance to $200,000. She said so far two houses have been bought but there seems to be growing interest.

In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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