WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE EXHIBIT HALL?
The Exhibit Hall is the green corrugated metal building located on the south side of Snow King Avenue across from the entrance to the fairgrounds. It is located on Town of Jackson-owned land, and the building is leased by the County for fair purposes.
Over five years ago, the Town notified the Fairgrounds manager that they would be building Affordable housing on the green space adjacent to the Exhibit Hall. To accommodate this new housing project and additional housing in the vicinity, the Town would be converting the land the Exhibit Hall is on into a parking lot, and relocating the Exhibit Hall across the street.
The County lease for the Exhibit Hall and green space next to it will most likely not be renewed in 2022 in an effort to begin construction on the housing project slated for that space. The address for the new housing would be 400 W. Snow King.
For information and our take on the larger fairgrounds discussion, click here.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
The Town applied for federal grant funding to ensure that the housing units would be as affordable as possible. The Town was awarded federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) in February 2022 after applying four times for this competitive funding. With a combination of significant public investment along with some private philanthropy, the Housing Department announced that all 48 of these units (total of 71 beds) would be Affordable for local workers.
The problem is that a new PAC called “Eyes on Teton County” is claiming that the Exhibit Hall is being torn down in the name of housing, when it has a secure future across the street. This new facility is 5 times bigger than the current hall. The idea that the Exhibit Hall is being sacrificed for housing is completely untrue.
Affordable housing is the type of housing we most desperately need: all 48 rental units will be reserved for local workers earning under 80% Median Family Income ($68k maximum for a single-person household). We fully support the development of this project. This type of permanently income-linked housing available for local workers most closely aligns with our mission to support providing homes for our most vulnerable community members.
IF THIS AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT FAILS, years of work will have been worthless. Winning this federal grant was a huge success, and it is what makes this Affordable project possible!
The Eyes on Teton County PAC has hired a lawyer and is combing through public documents to find one misstep to attempt to stop the entire project. The LIHTC funds are time-sensitive, so if the project is tied up in litigation, our community risks losing this federal money and the entire project is threatened. On August 15, the Town Council voted 3-1 to continue moving forward with the project, despite direct and personal threats made during the meeting.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
There is a huge need for support for Affordable rentals at 400 W. Snow King Avenue NOW. The Town Councilors voted unanimously to approve the ground lease for this project in July 2022, but that does not mean that it will go through in spite of threatened litigation.
EMAIL THE TOWN COUNCIL NOW: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need help with talking points, you can copy and paste the text below and add a personal sentence:
“I support housing for the most vulnerable on 400 W. Snow King Avenue! Thank you for replacing and updating the Exhibit Hall and continuing to provide that resource for our community. We need Affordable rentals for our community members, especially those making under 80% MFI. Please continue to move this project forward!”
Although approaching representatives can be intimidating, remember their job is to listen to you!