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Gov. Little signs bill to create workforce housing fund in Idaho

Darin Oswald
Idaho Statesman

Gov. Brad Little signed into law this week a bill that creates a state fund for workforce housing.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association will manage the $50 million in ARPA funds set aside for workforce housing gap financing, which could lead to the construction of 1,000 units.

“There’s a need for affordable housing in every municipality in Idaho. I mean, that’s obvious," said Jason Lantz, the director of marketing and communications at IHFA. “This workforce housing fund is a significant contribution to that, and so we’re hoping that will open the door to more development throughout the state.”

Workforce housing typically targets people in middle-income brackets, making between 60 and 120% of a county’s area median income, as opposed to low-income housing tax credits, which are meant for people making less than 60% of the area median income.

The legislature stipulated that 20% of the money from the workforce housing fund would go to projects in rural areas, and that priority would be given to developments that include matching funds from a local government entity.

Lantz said IHFA thinks the new funds will be used in conjunction with other funding sources it manages.

The organization should have a plan ready in May for how to distribute the funds and could decide on projects to support as soon as August. The workforce housing fund sunsets in 2026, according to this legislation.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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I cover environmental issues, outdoor recreation and local news for Boise State Public Radio. Beyond reporting, I contribute to the station’s digital strategy efforts and enjoy thinking about how our work can best reach and serve our audience. The best part of my job is that I get to learn something new almost every day.

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