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City of Ketchum creating housing for locals with 'Lease to Locals'

Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey launch pilot program to create and preserve housing for locals in the community through long-term rentals.

KETCHUM, Idaho —

Idaho's ongoing housing crisis has been especially difficult in Blaine County, where, according to the 2020 census, more than 46% of residences are used as second homes and short-term rentals. 

The cities of Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey are implementing a pilot program, Lease to Locals, to create and preserve housing for locals in the community. 

Ketchum is spearheading the project as a part of their Housing Action Plan (HAP) and has contracted with Landing Locals to market and administer the one-year program with over $400,000 in funding for grants to homeowners.

HAP addresses the housing crisis, with the Lease to Locals program aimed at creating and preserving housing for locals. Since Ketchum City Councilors approved HAP in May, the city has also initiated programs to stabilize renters and increase access to housing. 

Ketchum is also developing programs for homeownership assistance and housing preservation. 

On Sep. 6, 2022, the Ketchum City Council unanimously voted for the Lease to Locals program. 

"I am delighted to see the launch of the Lease to Locals program," Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw said. "It represents another arrow in our housing quiver and has the potential to make an immediate impact on our housing crisis." 

Landing Locals runs similar Lease to Locals incentive programs across the country and helps local governments with housing needs through innovative programs. 

In order to qualify, properties must be located in the city limits of Ketchum, Sun Valley or Hailey and must not already be rented long-term in the last 12 months. 

Properties cannot rent for more than $3,500 per month. 

Property owners can rent their property for seasonal leases or long-term leases for twelve months or longer. 

Incentive amounts for seasonal leases will be $2,000 for qualified tenants, while long-term leases will be $4,500 per tenant, with the maximum grant amount being $18,000. 

The qualified households must consist of at least 50% qualified tenants and must earn less than an average of $77,552, or $39 an hour, and be employed at least 20 hours a week within Blaine County. 

The Wood River Lease to Locals program launches on Oct. 1, and Landing Locals will work with homeowners to guide them through the process of qualifying for the grant. 

Ketchum will be administering the program and providing incentives once leases are signed. 

Half of the grant is provided when the lease is signed, and the remaining half is provided at the end of the lease. 

Tenants and homeowners can learn more about the program by: 

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