Thursday, December 02, 2021

About affordable housing

| October 27, 2021 1:00 AM

The one thing I remember when I first moved to Whitefish in 2002 was that there were three large trailer parks in the town. All three of those trailer parks are now gone, replaced by high-end development – especially vacation rentals.

People can say all they want about trailer parks as being undesirable, but they do house people cheaply. And, they don’t have to be a life-long commitment for people. A person could buy a trailer/small house (which can be very attractive now) and sell it in a few years. They may then have a down payment to buy a regular home.

I am wondering why this has never been a consideration in the affordable housing debate. If the city could buy up some of the (very little) remaining land, it could go be put into a land trust, and be available for a trailer/small house development.

The city can cry poor over funding, but when there was a parking problem, they were able to come up with the money for a very fancy parking garage. Since half of the property taxes, by definition, come from people below the average income, then half of the property taxes should be devoted to paying for what those people need. I suggest selling the snow lot (or perhaps using part of it for parking) and use the money to buy a larger lot(s) that could be made into a trailer/small house park.

Christine Bernat, Whitefish