KETCHUM, Idaho — The City of Ketchum is continuing to search for solutions to address the ongoing housing crisis in the area.
One possible solution to the long-time issue? A tent city-type living situation.
Ketchum City Council met June 7 following a community workshop on May 28. At the workshop, Blaine County residents gave their input regarding the displacement and inequalities facing local workers. This workshop fed the Ketchum City Council more ideas to address the housing crisis and provide more community support.
“I’m happy to see some progress, at least some solutions presented,” said Ketchum resident Reid Stillman.
Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw presented a progress tracker for long, mid-and short-term solutions discussed at the workshop.
“They understand why we are upset and why we have been holding these rallies,” said Stillman. “They understand why we have been saying what we have been saying to the media, it is just frustrating that these steps were not taken well in advance.”
Bradshaw said the city’s top priority right now is to look to see if they can change the city code to permit RVs in town.
“To be stationed on private property and on public property, to allow for qualified workers to live here during the summer,” Bradshaw said.
The idea of allowing for a tent city-type living situation was discussed in the community workshop, but now seems to have been dismissed. The mayor said he does not think they will go that route.
“There was not much interest from the council and the public to really go down that way,” said Bradshaw. “I think it brings up other issues, but I think it was good that we brought it up as an option, just to highlight the extent of the housing crisis we have.”
One long-term solution is 56-unit community housing development known as Blue Bird Village, which is still going through the application process. Several other short-term solutions were discussed as well, including workinging with local hotels to see if they would be willing to rent rooms out to local workers for the summer.