REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: I fixed the housing shortage

By on June 30, 2015

Low-end housing for Jackson’s workforce

Subsidized housing is the new catch phrase in Jackson. The business community supports subsidized housing to keep a supply of cheap workers available and workers support subsidized housing so they can have a place to live. Design teams and consultants have investigated the housing shortage and concluded, after a two year study costing $3.5 million, that the housing shortage can be directly attributed to the number of people wanting housing being greater than the amount of housing available.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the situation, Mayor Sara Flitner organized a symposium for elected officials featuring local economist and News&Guide columnist Jonathan Schechter.

According to Mr. Schechter, microeconomic theory states that anytime a shortage occurs, the markets adjust to create equilibrium. However, in Jackson an equilibrium is unobtainable due to elements of extreme disequilibrium persisting in the Jackson housing market. He used several colorful bar graphs and pie charts to back up his claim.

“As you can see,” he told the crowd of dignitaries, “the red showing the number of workers needed is larger than the blue showing the amount of housing available, thereby causing a housing shortage. The actual calculations are complex and involved,” he explained. “But to put it in layman’s language, there are too many people trying to live in too few houses.”

Mayor Flitner reminded participants that a housing shortage was a high-class problem and better than a housing glut which is considered a low-class problem.

While Mr. Schechter agreed with the Mayor, he reminded participants that the classification of a problem as high class did not necessarily eliminate the problem.

In an entrepreneurial response to the housing shortage, I have formed the Hog Island Group, or HIG, patterned after the high-end vacation rental company Clear Creek Group, to provide low-end housing for Jackson’s workforce.    

HIG has rentals available for immediate occupancy. For economy-minded clients, we are offering space under the South Park Bridge. These spaces are thoughtfully designed, cozy mountain/modern units offering convenience to town. They’re perfect for the busy Jackson Hole lifestyle ($800 per month).

For more discriminating clients, we are offering space under the new Wilson Bike Path Bridge including a limited number available on the desirable “West Bank” side of the bridge. The bridge is both arched and curved blending modern and traditional aesthetics and offers unparalleled views of some of the most exclusive subdivisions in the county ($2,000 per month)

All our bridge properties offer an airy atmosphere, an open terrace and stone-floored foyer, in fact all the floors are made of native stone flooring. Our bridge properties are mere steps away from fishing and highways that lead to world-class skiing, golf and sushi shops.

HIG also offers winter affordable housing options. We have tent sites on heated driveways located throughout the West Bank. Heated tent sites are typically available all winter although renters may be required to move from time to time as second home owners spend their annual two weeks per year in their otherwise empty 8,000 square foot houses.

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