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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


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For the week of May 22 - 28, 2002


Report: need for housing increases over five years

Express Staff Writer

The need for worker housing has only gotten worse in the last five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Blaine County Housing Authority and the city of Ketchum.

Blaine County needs an additional 665 homes to provide employees with a place to live, the report by Rees Consulting Inc. states. That number is up from 580 homes Rees stated the county needed in 1997.

The new 15-page report is meant to provide information to support proposed housing projects. It updates a much longer 1997 report.

Of the 665-home deficit, 473 are needed to house existing employees in the county, and 192 are needed to house employees who would fill vacant jobs, Rees states.

Those numbers donít include housing for workers who commute from outside the county or overcrowding.

Also new since 1997, all cities, except Ketchum, experienced slight increases in the percentage of homes occupied as primary residences since 1990, according to the report. That could indicate the supply of employee housing is increasing relative to demand, but more data is needed to confirm that, the report states.

The number of homes occupied as primary residences in Sun Valley increased from about 15 percent to about 25 percent from 1990 to 2000, the report states, while Bellevue and Hailey, with around 90 percent primary residences, had increase of less than 5 percent each. The number of primary residences in Ketchum decreased a few percentage points to just over 50 percent.

Working residents continue to be pushed south in their search for housing as prices climb, according to a separate update by Gates Kellett, Blaine County housing director.

The number of deed-restricted affordable apartments in Ketchum and Sun Valley, where most valley jobs are located, remains at zero, while Hailey has 382, according to Kellett.

Meanwhile the median sales price of homes throughout the county increased by 47 percent between 1995 and 1999, she stated.

The average sales price of a home in 2000 was $185,000 from Bellevue south, $205,000 in Hailey, $600,000 in Ketchum and $880,000 in Sun Valley, she stated.


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.