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National task force of county leaders launched to address housing affordability

Ada County Commissioner Rod Beck was appointed to the National Association of Counties Housing Task Force.

BOISE, Idaho — According to a Housing Needs Analysis conducted by the City of Boise earlier this year, Ada County will need over 66,000 affordable housing units by the decade's end.

So what can be done to solve that problem?

The National Association of Counties (NACo) launched a Housing Task Force on Tuesday. The group is comprised of over 30 county leaders, and will work to explore county-led solutions for housing affordability and stability.

Rod Beck is the chairman of the Ada County Board of Commissioners, he was appointed to the housing task force. 

"Housing is important to everybody, and if you have stable housing and affordable housing, it allows you to concentrate more on your family and on your work and so forth," Beck said. "So housing is an important component just like food is, and transportation."

Idaho is short 24,486 affordable and available rental units for its lowest income renters, according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition

"It's one of those basic necessities, and I think that's the reason that the National Association of Counties has put together this task force is to look at the entire gamut of housing and see what can be done, if anything, to ameliorate the housing shortages and the cost for affordable housing," Beck said.

NACo says that county governments can play a leading role in housing issues through tax policies, financing and lending, build permits and code enforcement, land use and zoning, workforce housing, and community planning. 

"We'll be looking at potential solutions, we don't have the answers to everything. But we we can have experts that come and come and give us an idea what we can do," Beck said. "Housing is involved in all all gamut's of business. Supply chain, for instance, taxes, regulations - all that affects price of housing."

In a news release, NACo said that housing costs have been outpacing job and wage growth in many areas. The association also said there are colliding factors like supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and increased demand for short-term rentals. 

Sherry Maupin, a Valley County Commissioner, is co-chair of the task force. 

NACo's Housing Task Force is a nine-month project that will work toward producing a landscape report, a series of case studies and a blog post series detailing their findings in July 2023. The group's first meeting takes place Wednesday. 

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