Town and county officials are running a survey intended to gather information about housing needs in Teton and northern Lincoln counties, as well as Teton County, Idaho.

Lincoln County and the Idaho county, home to Victor and Driggs, house a significant proportion of the Jackson Hole workforce. Over 9,000 people commute into the valley in all seasons, according to a town and county 2021 indicator report, and officials in the three areas are collaborating on a study dubbed the “Regional Housing Needs Assessment” to better understand and plan how to respond to housing needs in the greater Jackson Hole region.

The survey released Wednesday is part of that information gathering.

It is available in both English and Spanish, with separate questionnaires for individuals and employers. The English link can be found at TinyURL.com/housingneedsjhENG and the Spanish link at TinyURL.com/housingneedsjhESP. The link for employers is at TinyURL.com/homeneedsjhbiz.

The deadline to complete the survey is Oct. 8.

Officials will use the results to prepare a draft report by the week of Jan. 10, 2022, and a final report in February.

“This study will be used as an initial step toward developing more solutions to address community housing needs,” Jackson/Teton County Housing Director April Norton said in a press release. “We hope to hear from everyone facing housing challenges in our communities, from employers to employees and residents, so we can fully understand current and future housing needs and preferences.”

The regional assessment is focusing on the resident and employee housing market, according to a webpage about the study, and it is intended to “identify how much, what type (ownership or rental), at which price point and for whom housing is needed across the entire housing spectrum.”

That includes “extremely low-income households” and “higher priced housing for residents and employees.”

The housing assessment will be used in tandem with a separate study, the “Employee Generation by Land Use Study,” which seeks to determine how new residential and commercial development creates the need for affordable and workforce housing.

The job creation study is often referred to as a “Housing Nexus Study” and data from a past, similar study underpins the town and county’s housing mitigation rates, which set the amount of housing commercial and residential developers must provide — or pay a fee-in-lieu for — based on the number of jobs their development will generate and the expected level of pay for those new employees.

Once the studies are finished, the data will be used to develop a housing strategy to “help address the areas where existing housing options are falling short of supporting local residents, employees and businesses,” the website states.

That process is set to begin in February or March.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Billy Arnold has covered government and policy since January 2020, sitting through hours of Teton County meetings so readers don't have to. He moonlights as a ski reporter, helps with pandemic coverage and sneaks away to climb when he can.

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