Teton County’s Habitat for Humanity has released design plans for twenty-four low income homes that will help address the housing shortfall in the area.
Many of the people who work in the Jackson area can’t afford to live there, and a recent study found that a third of the county's residents spend more than thirty percent of their income on housing.
A local group hopes to build the three bedroom units over the next four years, and sell them to people who make less than eighty percent of the county’s average.
The County Housing Authority bought the land for the complex, but passed responsibility for a third phase of designs to Habitat.
If the town government approves the designs, construction will begin in June, and the first two buildings will be finished by December of 2018.
Teton Habitat Executive Director Kendra Heimbuck said the non-profit took several factors into account as it was drawing up its plans.
“We look at long term durability of these units, really looking at the end user costs while in these homes, trying to reduce utility bills, maintenance bills, so that our families are really able to free up as much discretionary income in their budgets as they can and not having to put a large portion of their budget towards home costs,” said Heimbuck.
The non-profit also needed to make sure that volunteers could help with construction. Heimbuck said that by partnering with her organization, the county is involving Jackson residents who want to help solve the housing problem.
“Habitat’s going to be opening up that site to this community for volunteers to come get involved on the project,” said Heimbuck. “There’s a lot of people that talk about wanting to support affordable housing and this is going to be a real concrete opportunity to come out and help firsthand, with a hammer in your hand.”
The Housing Authority and a housing trust in the area also offer low-income residences, but Heimbuck said they often have waitlists holding as many as three hundred names.