Way out West Where $400,000 Buys an “Affordable” Home

Teacher at ChalkboardTeachers tend to be the poster children for the wage debate in most communities, and in Jackson Hole, WY that remains true, even though young teachers like Jennifer Marlar make $70,000  per year.  But, in a community where the median home price is $1 million, she knows she will never be able to afford to be a homeowner.  She plans to look for work in the town where she lives, over 1 hour away from Jackson Hole just over the Idaho border.

As discussed in this article from Marketplace’s Education Desk,  Jackson Hole has tried to address this issue with subsidized workforce housing, but at an average cost of $403,000, these “affordable” homes will still be out of reach for many in the workforce.  Here in the Charlottesville area, high housing costs makes it a challenge for many in the local workforce to afford to purchase, and high rental costs add insult to that injury.  We are fortunate to have a number of organizations providing help for workforce housing, but this national,systemic problem needs some big action to address what is becoming a national tragedy–the loss of the American dream of home ownership for more and more working Americans.