Idaho Growth Causing Statewide Housing Crunch

Jul 20, 2018

As Idaho continues to grow, affordable housing options are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

The growth gripping Idaho isn’t contained to the Treasure Valley and the state’s biggest cities. Housing crises are impacting the Gem State far and wide.

Eastern Idaho’s Bonneville County needs at least another 1,000 housing units over the next five years to keep pace with the rising population. That’s according to a study from Boise State’s Idaho Policy Center.

The Post Register reports the study – which looked at housing trends in the Idaho Falls area – claimed the region had a rental vacancy rate of ten percent in 2016. Local landlords say that figure may be different now.

A leader at one rental agency in Idaho Falls reports a vacancy rate of just 0.5 percent. Employers in the area say the housing crunch, paired with low unemployment, makes it hard to find workers and a challenge for employees relocating to the area.

At the same time, the rural town of New Meadows is dealing with its own housing debacle. The city says a lack of affordable housing has led to people living out of their RVs in the community. As some residents worry about their property values, City Clerk Mac Qualls tells KTVB the pop-up mobile home parks are keeping law enforcement busy.

Qualls says if he had 70 new housing units on the market today, they’d be gone tomorrow.

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