Bill targets Jackson housing program
CHEYENNE — After canceling local government meetings, more than a dozen Teton County elected officials and staff traveled to Cheyenne to plead Monday with state legislators to not eliminate local control of a key housing program.
But Jackson Hole’s elected leaders failed to convince legislators, who ultimately voted 8-6 to advance a bill prohibiting towns and counties from using a tool Teton County has relied on for decades. Facing a crisis-level shortage of affordable housing, the community has long used fees levied on new development to pay for building workforce housing or requirements that developers build a certain amount of worker housing as part of a project.
Since 1998 Teton County has collected $12.2 million in fees through the exaction program. The town of Jackson has collected $1.7 million since 2002. The mitigation fees have been used to help build 224 housing units, with another 40 units in the works, according to data shared with the committee. The county still holds $3 million in fees, while the town has a zero balance.