October 31, 2023

While ShelterJH will be keeping a close eye on all of the housing-related state bills during the 2024 legislative session, we are especially concerned about the draft exaction legislation released by the Regulatory Reduction Task Force this week. In a state that espouses conservative values like local control, it is troubling that Teton County’s critical housing initiatives are hogtied by state overreach. Our current mitigation rates are already well below the rates that are legitimized by the objective data from the 2022 Housing Nexus Study. 

If passed, this bill would only further preempt voters’ ability to support leaders who can enact vital programs that support local families like a reasonable, evidence-based housing mitigation program. The bill would set arbitrary limits on mitigation fees, widening the gap between job growth and housing production, which in turn leaves more local workers without access to safe and affordable homes. 

We would never want to inhibit locals being able to live locally; however, we support residential mitigation on some homes, especially those unaffordable to local families. Exempting residential mitigation on new homes being built between 2,500-4,000 square feet only benefits wealthy homeowners who can afford to build a home that size—an estimated cost of $2.5-$4 million, before the cost of land. These homeowners are necessarily not earning their income locally, and have a responsibility to mitigate their effect on job growth in this county. 

We believe all new commercial development should be subject to data-backed mitigation, although we support reasonable exceptions for small and family businesses. 

It’s disappointing to have to prove the efficacy of our innovative housing solutions year after year to legislators, when voters in every county and municipality across Wyoming should be trusted to decide what policies best support their needs. ShelterJH will absolutely be educating and mobilizing our members and partners across the state to preserve local control.