The town of Jackson asked the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust on Monday afternoon to postpone its Redmond Street Rentals project until next spring.

For construction to start this fall, the Housing Trust asked the town and county to provide $6 million. After months of discussion, the council stated it simply couldn’t fulfill that request.

“There just isn’t enough money to start this fall without increasing commitments from town and county,” Jackson Town Manager Bob McLaurin said.

The Housing Trust said it will discuss the matter with its board this morning. The possibility of breaking ground on all 28 proposed units this fall is still a possibility, though the trust would be forced to convert from rental to ownership housing.

With plans still up in the air, the Town Council continued the discussion of forming a partnership agreement with the Housing Trust until the next council meeting Aug. 1.

The town now has $2.1 million in its affordable housing fund. The county is considering pledging money from the sale of county-owned properties on Cheney Lane and Broadway.

Even if all of that money is pledged to the Housing Trust, it’s about $3 million short of what the organization said is necessary to begin construction this fall.

The Town Council formed a committee of professionals, familiar with the development industry in Jackson, to investigate the proposal as well as any and all funding sources. They determined it’s best to wait till next spring.

If the Housing Trust is willing to postpone the groundbreaking until next spring, the housing committee and Town Council said, it would have more time to raise money on its own and the town could have additional funds allocated for housing, if a general revenue sales tax is passed at the Nov. 8 election.

“I’m disappointed, but I’m not going to argue with logic and the work of the committee,” Mayor Sara Flitner said. “If we move forward in the spring [the trust will] have more time to raise money and more funds might be available to us, [the Town Council].”

Contact John Spina at 732-5911 or town@jhnewsandguide.com.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

(2) comments

Shane Rothman

I'd prefer to see more rentals built by JHMR, SKMR LLC, 4 seasons, and other seasonal employers that attract the majority of our future residents and visitors. We can't house resort workers with taxpayer money, it must be limited to police/fire/EMS, teachers, Town/county employees, etc.. We need to demand more responsibility from these large, extremely wealthy employers...

Judd Grossman

This project is way too expensive. We will never be able to address our workforce housing needs by pursuing these kinds of projects that require massive public subsidies. The Workforce Housing Action Plan simply doubles down on past failures like The Grove. This is why we need to reject the General Excise Tax increase. We need density bonuses for employment based deed restricted units in the urban commercial core that will give employees and employers the opportunity to take care of their own housing needs.

http://votejudd.com

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