Big Sky Affordable Housing Shortage - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Big Sky Affordable Housing Shortage

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Big Sky -

For the first time in ten years, Big Sky seasonal employees have to move off the mountain and find affordable housing in West Yellowstone.

Due to a shortage of affordable housing in the Big Sky community, 35 Big Sky seasonal employees are living in West Yellowstone and commuting about an hour each way to Big Sky, everyday.

"I knew coming into this employment that there would be the possibility of me living in West Yellowstone," said Claire Oslund, Big Sky seasonal employee. "I did my research and figured out what I was getting myself into."

The employees are transported back and forth by charter busses.

"We paid for our Charter to operate between West Yellowstone and Big Sky," said Dax Shieffer, Big Sky Human Resources Director. "We tried to do what works best for most of our employees schedules."

Executive Director for the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, Kitty Clemens said the recession hit Big Sky hard and now with the economy picking up, housing is limited.

"It picked up so fast and now we can't build fast enough," said Clemens.

She said they are working to solve the problem.

"We have received an approbation from the local resort tax and we've hired a company to help us out," said Clemens.

And they have several options to choose from.

"We could create a housing authority or a land bank that would help bring the cost of building on the land down," said Clemens.

Oslund said for now, the commute is working out for her.

"If a situation was to arise where I could move back to Big Sky, I would consider it, but for now it is a good option," said Oslund.

Currently, Big Sky has three affordable housing places in the area. The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce will be holding a town hall meeting on March 13 to discuss the possible housing options for the community.

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