JACKSON, Wyo. — As the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary, it’s clear there has never been a more important time for the organization’s work.
The Community Housing Trust is a not-for-profit affordable housing developer that builds housing so that essential community residents – first responders, teachers, therapists, nurses, park rangers, plumbers – are able to live close to where they work. Since its inception in 1991, the Community Housing Trust has developed 181 homes in nine neighborhoods, serving 563 people. In the last three years, the Community Housing Trust has provided stable, affordable housing to 158 people.
In 1991, the median family income in Teton County was $33,600 and the median price of a home was $157,000. Although it was a stretch, a household earning median income could still afford to purchase a free-market home.
Thirty years later, the median price of a single-family home has stretched to $2.5M, yet the median family income for a family of four remains closer to $115,000. For too many people, living in Teton County is simply not a reality.
As it looks back on the accomplishments of the last three decades, and buoyed by tremendous support from generous donors, the Community Housing Trust has three projects in the pipeline that will help make a significant dent in the housing crisis facing Teton County.
Sheriff Matt Carr says, “Affordable housing is an issue I think about every day. My job as Sheriff is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our community. This requires that I have well-trained, dedicated personnel, who stick around long enough to understand the nuances of Jackson. Retaining staff is a huge challenge — Ninety percent of my patrol officers commute to work every day, only 10 percent live in Teton County. I am convinced the sustainability of this department depends on access to affordable housing in the valley.”
In 1991, Margot Snowdon made the first contribution to the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust. Reflecting on the work of the Trust, Margot said “The Housing Trust has had an immeasurable impact on Jackson Hole; it’s an awesome legacy from the founders that continues to gain steam and momentum today.”
Since 1991, the Community Housing Trust has honed its expertise at managing the development, construction, and financing of quality housing designed to retain the best and the brightest in Jackson. They leverage generous donations, collaborate with public and private sector partners, and utilize innovative financial and legal instruments to deliver the highest quality housing for the lowest possible price. As a non-profit, the Community Housing Trust operates with less overhead and without a profit margin which helps them to develop homes that are truly affordable.
“Providing affordable housing in Jackson is complex and expensive. In our small town, it is great to have a not-for-profit housing developer like the Community Housing Trust that is committed to quality design and construction, timely project management, and compassion for the people it serves.” – Hailey Morton Levinson, Town of Jackson Mayor
This year, donors have prioritized housing like never before, realizing that without housing for our essential workforce, many other things are not possible. To ring in the new year, two generous donors dedicated $4.5M to the Community Housing Trust; soon thereafter, the Hughes Charitable Foundation made a historic $10M contribution in honor of professionals dedicated to health and human service organizations in Teton County.
With three projects in the pipeline and additional opportunities on the horizon, Anne Cresswell, Executive Director of the Housing Trust notes, “The heavy lifting is just beginning and the Community Housing Trust will need additional financial support to get these homes out of the ground. Every contribution made to the Community Housing Trust helps sustain our community because without housing for our essential workforce, the services that we care most about and the amenities that distinguish Jackson Hole will not be possible.”
To help make stable and affordable housing possible for the people who make Jackson, Jackson, donate to support the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust today.