City creates housing committee

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Whitefish has created a strategic housing steering committee to work on creating affordable workforce housing in the city.

City Council Dec. 4 approved the resolution creating the committee. The Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan, approved by Council last month, calls for such a committee.

Finding affordable housing options has become a challenge in Whitefish, according to a housing needs assessment released last year. About 56 percent of Whitefish’s workforce commutes into town for work, and 34 percent of those workers say they would prefer to live in Whitefish.

To fill the affordable housing gap 605 residential units are needed through 2020, according to housing consultants.

The Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan outlines a number of short- and long-term priorities to create housing including several initiatives.

According to the resolution, the purpose of the committee is to review and revise as housing strategies are developed and enacted, to establish responsibilities and procedures, to appoint ad hoc or sub-committees as needed. It will report to City Council and eventually assist with the update to the Strategic Housing Plan in 2020.

The committee is also expected to liaison with the Housing Coordinator, a city position called for in housing plan.

The committee is set to consist of nine members — the mayor and two members of City Council; two city staff members; and four members of the public and from the strategic housing task force. Members are appointed by the mayor and approved by Council.

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