September 3, 2020

RE: DACA recipients and public homes

Dear Teton County Commissioners and Jackson Town Councilors,

Thank you for taking the time to consider allowing DACA recipients (also known as “Dreamers”) to apply for housing through the joint Housing Department. We support this proposal and ask you to permit Dreamers to purchase homes through our public Jackson/Teton County Affordable Housing Department.

Recently, the Federal Housing Administration has given Dreamers the option to apply for mortgages, enabling them to purchase publicly-subsidized homes. DACA recipients also qualify for homes through the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust and the Wyoming Community Development Authority. Applicants must have a Social Security number and employment authorization documents. We should enable Dreamers to own publicly-subsidized housing on a county level as well as a private, state, and federal level.

Dreamers are full participants in and members of our society, and their health and wellness benefits our whole community—and our economy. Wyoming DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $923,000 in state and local taxes in 2018. This summer, we have seen businesses and public services cut their operating hours and close their doors in the face of record-high visitation coupled with skyrocketing real estate prices. Providing homes to local workers is of the utmost importance if we are going to have a sustainable economy, especially as the demand for service workers and bilingual employees rises.

Given the housing emergency in Jackson Hole, we must allow all critical members of our community and our workforce to access resources that give them the opportunity for housing security. Please support the staff’s recommendation and allow DACA recipients to apply for community housing now. We support our immigrant workers just like all of our local workers, and they too deserve a fair chance to participate in publicly-subsidized housing and realize the dream of living securely in Jackson Hole.

Sincerely,

ShelterJH
Clare Stumpf – Coordinator
Mary Erickson, Elizabeth Hutchings, Christine Walker, Mike Welch, Skye Schell, Ryan Nourai, Ash Hermanowski – Board of Directors

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