Ketchum City Council to discuss acquisition of transitional housing

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:33 AM MST
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Ketchum, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —At Monday’s meeting, the Ketchum City Council will consider the purchase of a few pre-owned park units - similar to an RV- to rent to those in need of transitional housing.

The investment will address a short-term need until permanent housing can be found. Initially, the park units could be placed in the Meadows RV Park before being moved to the city-owned lot on lewis street.

The arrival of snow means an increased cost of preparing Lewis Street to accommodate previously owned, prefabricated housing. The Meadows mobile home park has adequate space and utilities to house the park models and families until mid-May, by which time Lewis Street would be ready.

The Ketchum city staff is recommending ground leasing the land at the Meadows. Most of the cost will be offset by tenant payments, An alternative is waiting through the winter for Lewis Street to be ready and acquiring and placing park models directly there.

The ground lease per site at the Meadows would be $800, including utilities. City staff anticipates households to pay an average of $650 per month. This signifies $5,400 needed to cover the remaining cost of the ground leases for six months for six sites. If or when prefabricated models are on Lewis Street, there would be no ground lease, so those tenant payments would go towards paying down the upfront cost of the investment at an average of $30,000 for each pre-owned park model. The investment in six units, equaling about $180,000 in the acquisition and about $90,000 to set up Lewis Street, would be paid off in under six years unless the units are resold before then.

Funds will come from FY22 budget expense savings and revenues, which staff say are performing stronger than forecasted.

In October the city’s housing strategist said last winter about 250 people were experiencing homelessness in Ketchum, and city leaders expect that number to rise significantly this winter. It is estimated that an additional 20 to 40 new families will be homeless this Winter. On top of that, another 100 families will be dealing with some form of housing security.