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Ketchum to buy six transitional housing units

A blue tiny home on wheels
Courtesy Of Russell Bridges
A tiny home in Boise

The Ketchum City Council voted Monday night to buy six transitional housing units for people experiencing homelessness.

The city plans to rent space for "park model" units — similar to tiny homes — at the Meadows RV park. Then, the units will move to a city lot next spring when electricity, sewer and water hookups are ready.

This housing would go to people the Blaine County Charitable Fund, a local nonprofit, considers most at-risk, including families with children facing homelessness.

“We would be able to rent out those units we placed there for around $650 a month," said Mayor Neil Bradshaw during the city council meeting.

Blaine County organizations raised the alarm this fall about an uptick in people sleeping outside. They estimated, at the time, that 20-40 families were experiencing homelessness.

Purchasing the transitional housing units is one short-term solution the city thinks could help people get out of the cold.

The city, along with the county and nonprofits, are also paying to house people in eight hotel rooms.

The new temporary housing could be up and running in early January. Bradshaw said that would allow some people to move out of the hotel rooms and into the park units "which are significantly more cost effective for our public dollar," he said.

The total price tag of purchasing the units, renting the space for them at the RV park and then moving them to city land would be around $275,000 — about $25,000 more than Ketchum recently pledged to emergency housing solutions.

But the city said the cost would be offset by revenue from rent, and potentially, by grants and private donations.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2022 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.