St. Luke’s Wooden River says potential candidates are turning down the roles as a result of lack of inexpensive housing within the Ketchum space.
HAILEY, Idaho — Hospitals all through the nation are overwhelmed with COVID-19 sufferers as they expertise a scarcity of well being care staff. Nevertheless, lack of inexpensive housing can be a problem healthcare staff within the Wooden River Valley face.
St. Luke’s Well being System is taking steps to supply inexpensive housing for healthcare staff. Simply final week, St. Luke’s Wooden River broke floor on a brand new mission that may deliver inexpensive housing to a dozen healthcare staff.
“We get suggestions that people who find themselves being recruited to St. Luke’s Wooden River,” stated Erin Pfaeffle, the director of group well being at St. Luke’s Wooden River. “As soon as they have a look at the present availability of inexpensive properties to lease and to personal, and the price of dwelling in our group, it turned very tough for them to just accept a place with us.”
St. Luke’s Wooden River presently has 69 out there positions, in line with Pfaeffle. About one-third of them are nursing positions.
Nevertheless, potential candidates are turning down the roles as a result of lack of inexpensive housing within the Ketchum space. Present workers are additionally feeling the pressure, going to determined lengths to have a roof over their heads.
“We’ve got RV hookups in our car parking zone and we completely have workers which are dwelling in that car parking zone in order that they will proceed working for us,” Pfaeffle stated. “[Some} have moved here working for us and have not been able to find an affordable home so they’re living in there until they can find a solution.”
As the cost of living continues to increase, some property owners in the Ketchum area are converting their monthly rental properties into seasonal vacation properties, which is limiting supply.
However, St. Luke’s Wood River is working to provide a solution.
“If we start with income and let income drive the rest, we are able to ensure affordability for specific households,” said Michelle Griffith, the executive director of the non-profit development organization Arch.
Arch has been developing homes in the Wood River Valley since 2009. When a project began that would benefit healthcare workers during the ongoing pandemic, the board voted unanimously to make land available for the program.
Healthcare workers who live in these houses will pay no more than 30% of their income on housing.
“The beauty of this program is that it’s just us and the hospital,” Griffith said. “The federal government isn’t involved so we can do what we need to do to make sure these employees are well-looked after.”
The funding for the project will come from St. Luke’s Health System and the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation. Arch will develop four homes in three different locations, two in Hailey and one in Bellevue.
Arch has been saving money for years, according to Griffith, and the community and donors have been very generous to provide healthcare workers with affordable housing.
“It’s been an issue for a long long time,” Griffith said. “It’s unfortunate that we are at a point where it’s such an extraordinary crisis, but the good news is that a crisis brings people together and galvanizes the community.”
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