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Housing presentation on council agenda

by EVIE SEABERG
Staff Writer | September 19, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Wednesday’s Sandpoint City Council meeting will include a presentation about creation of a housing authority. The council is also expected to authorize multiple purchases including backup generators for the water treatment plant, a Vactor truck for sewer cleaning, and a CAT backhoe.

Establishment of a housing authority has been a goal of city officials in recent years. After a housing assessment was conducted in 2019, city officials determined the need for a housing authority by analyzing the regional housing market, and housing affordability and availability.

“The housing assessment determined a significant indicator of the lack of housing affordability to be the number of households paying over 30% of their income for rent across income levels,” city officials said on an agenda request form.

The assessment also showed the lack of vacant housing units in the rental market.

In December 2022, the city had a housing and economic analysis prepared by Leland Consulting Group which found that increased population in the region “fueled increasing housing costs resulting in a housing affordability crisis, particularly for lower-to-middle income residents.”

As a result, the council wants to address the issue, and will be discussing the implementation of a multi-jurisdictional housing authority, recognizing housing affordability as a regional issue.

The housing authority would conduct the clearance, replanning, reconstruction and development of housing areas to provide safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for “persons of low income” as defined in Idaho Code, which includes supporting housing for the city’s workforce, the agenda request form said.

Other items on the council’s agenda include review of an audit engagement letter for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and the subsequent estimated audit fee of $25,000 plus an additional $5,000 for single audit. Council members will also consider renewing a contract for prosecution services with the Bonner County Prosecutor's Office.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held at Sandpoint City Hall, 1123 Lake St., starting at 5:30 p.m. The public can attend in person or online at sandpointidaho.gov.