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Informal TAAF Reports

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2008 Forum on Protecting Our Community: Housing Working Families”


On November 14th TAAF members participated in the workforce housing forum sponsored by the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the Teton County Wyoming Housing Authority.  During the forum Tom McCabe, Craig Richardson, and Mark White, the invited panelists, gave brief introductory remarks followed by an extended question and answer session.  While in no way a comprehensive representation of the discussions, a few highlights are listed below.

Towards the end of the discussion each panelist was asked for one thing they’d recommend as important in any workforce housing program:

  1. *         Think regionally
  2. *         Set clear goals
  3. *         Think long and hard about where you want your community to be

In addition, here are some brief paraphrases of a few of the discussion topics:

  1. *         Work force housing must be every where – no ghettos
  2. *         NIMBY issues are biggest for rentals
  3. *         The more discretionary the process, the more opportunity to derail
  4. *         Partnerships with employers can be very effective – see http://www.coastalhousing.org/ and http://www.housingtrustscc.org/
  5. *         May not maximize real estate sale prices, but it can optimize the community
  6. *         State lines balkanize the process
  7. *         There are some examples of success in working across political boundaries such as tax base sharing in Minneapolis- St. Paul (see http://www.nyslocalgov.org/pdf/Tax_Base_Sharing.pdf  )
  8. *         The obstacle to building workforce housing is always “whose ox will be gored?”
  9. *         Aspen has the 2nd biggest transit system in Colorado
  10. *         Elements of successful transit:
    1. o        On site day care
    2. o        Tax support
    3. o        Bus rapid transit (priority for busses)
  11. *         For planning, decide on the build out numbers, then the % of workforce housing, then build this into the ordinances
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