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DACA Recipients Now Eligible To Purchase Affordable Housing In Teton County

Store window with open neon sign and help wanted sign.
Caroline Ballard

The Jackson Town Council and Teton County Commissioners unanimously passed a housing regulation change that allows DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, also known as Dreamers, to qualify to purchase affordable housing.

There are some restrictions, such as only DACA recipients that have lived and worked for a Teton County business for at least one year are eligible. During a joint information meeting, public comment was heard, which was mostly in support of the change.

Among those in support of the change was Jimmy Bartz, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Jackson.

"We all have some sense to those of us who live here in the valley full time, that this is a constituency of people who make enormous contributions to our community," said Bartz. "And I believe that it is the right thing to do for us to extend access to this group of people."

Most people in support of the rule change cited the importance of dreamers in the community's workforce.

"DACA holders are young professionals and are a crucial part of our workforce," said Wendy Martinez during public comment. "They are teachers, nonprofits staff, nurses, bankers to name a few, but they are currently being left out of affordable homeownership."

Opponents to the change wrote emails during the 45 day public comment period saying improvements need to be made in affordable housing for U.S. citizens before extending the opportunity to DACA recipients.

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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