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McCall looks at adding new government agency to work on local housing problem

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The McCall Area Local Housing Action Plan was presented to city council and with that came the request for a new government agency. 

The newly proposed government agency, The McCall Area Housing Authority, would have the responsibility of addressing housing needs. The housing authority would manage and store local housing, develop and acquire land for housing, raise funds and issue bonds, work on the action plan, and educate and communicate with the community. 

It was noted that the housing authority would cover the McCall area, not just the City of McCall. 

“It’s to avoid any history associated with the form of regional efforts and to really provide geographically targeted services. Using the McCall area instead of just the City of McCall recognizes the regional nature of housing and does not prohibit it from expanding as needed or providing services to other areas, or communities in the county and the region,” Christine Walker of Navigate said during the presentation.

Walker said they heard that the West Central Mountains Housing Trust may reconstitute. The housing trust is a non-profit organization that helps create and preserve affordable housing in the west-central mountain region. It was emphasized that the housing trust is a nonprofit and this would be a government agency. The idea would be to have these organizations work cohesively. 

Both the housing authority and the housing trust would bring unique ways to help local housing. The authority would have the power to manage and develop rental and ownership products, it can bond to access money quickly, and can carry long-term debt. While the housing Trust uses the national model, Community Land Trust, which holds land in a trust to ensure affordability.   

The group working on the action plan looked to other communities to get an idea of how much it would cost to start up the housing authority. The figure they came up with was $250,000, which would cover hiring a community leader, office space, outreach, technical help, and other associated costs.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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