Chamber breakfast focuses on update on affordable housing efforts

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The Whitefish Chamber of Commerce will hold a breakfast meeting on June 20 to discuss what’s being done to implement the 2017 Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan.

Developing housing that is affordable for the Whitefish workforce has become a hot topic in recent years, as more and more local workers are forced to live out of town due to rising real estate prices, escalating rents and the conversion of existing long-term lease properties to short-term vacation rentals.

The Whitefish Chamber of Commerce and the city of Whitefish have been working to assess the situation and construct a plan to deal with the problem.

A number of projects are in the works for potential affordable housing, including development of the city-owned snow lot downtown and the Alta Views townhouse subdivision off JP Road, to a proposed 56-home deed-restricted community on Voerman Road and a 60-unit apartment development planned by the Whitefish Housing Authority.

The city is also working to make changes to a number of city zoning and building codes to incentivize the development of affordable workforce housing, development of an inclusionary zoning ordinance requiring that a percentage of new housing developments be permanently affordable, changes to the city’s annexation policy that would require the development of workforce housing, and discussion of a possible “Voluntary Housing Assessment” to help fund the workforce housing effort.

The meeting is at the Moose Lodge. Registration and buffet breakfast begin at 7:45 a.m., the program begins promptly at 8:15 a.m. and will end by 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $15; RSVPs are a must. Call the chamber at 862-3501, or register online at www.WhitefishChamber.org.

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