Friday, July 11, 2014

Demographics and destiny

    The Blaine County Housing Authority reported this week that the middle class is shrinking in the Wood River Valley as a result of a sputtering economy and stagnant or declining wages.
    Workers here are having trouble affording the cost of housing in the real estate and rental markets that are recovering more rapidly than wages. In other words, the Sun Valley area once again is beginning to suffer a debilitating lack of adequate workforce housing.
    Achieving a reasonable balance between workforce housing units and market-rate units is essential to the economic and cultural success of the area going forward. It won’t be easy, but it never was. To fail to address the issue will be like posting a sign at Timmerman Hill saying, “Haves only.”
    That might sound fine, but it’s a good bet even the “haves” wouldn’t like the result.
    If local government boards don’t address the problem, the average age in the area will continue to go up, given that Millennials are struggling even harder to make lives in the area than the Baby Boomers who preceded them. Businesses—the ones enjoyed by locals and visitors—will be hard-pressed to retain good employees. Volunteer operations will be starved of the people who make them work. The area will be deprived of the energy and creativity that artists and craftspeople bring to communities.
    A wise person once wrote that demographics are destiny. Blaine County and its cities must pay attention to ours and actively try to keep workforce housing in the mix. Otherwise, our lively and bustling mountain towns could wilt and become the faded remnants of a golden age.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.