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Sunny Gulch Townhomes to Provide Eight Workforce Housing Units
Monday, October 23, 2023


Construction on eight modern cottage-like townhomes for the workforce will begin this week, thanks to some private donations, ARPA money provided by Blaine County and a home baked apple pie.

ARCH Director Michelle Griffith admitted she was not above baking the pie as a little nudge to get Benchmark Associates to do a quick land survey to speed the process along.

The ARCH Cottage Townhomes are one of two multifamily projects proposed for the first phase of the 85-unit Sunbeam Subdivision, which sits between Old Cutters and Quigley Road in Hailey. The eight units being built near San Badger Drive will be made available to those who work in Blaine County and earn up to 140 percent of area median income.

The two-story homes have sloped roofs and garages.

“They’re adorable,” said Shelly Boettger, manager of Donor Relations and Outreach for ARCH Community Housing Trust. “They’re similar to our projects on Quigley Road. Cute porches and a yard, landscaping single family units...”

Worker hope to get the foundations in the ground before it freezes. The homes should be ready to occupy in 18 months.

The homes sit on 0.93-acres. Two of the homes have been earmarked for the county workers because of the funds the county provided from the American Rescue Plan Act, or the COVID-19 Stimulus Package. The rest will be available on a first-come, first-served ability.

Those interested can fill out an application now, Griffith said. To learn more visit

The project is designed for those in the middle workforce who make too much money to qualify for affordable housing but not enough to buy their own homes given high housing costs in the Wood River Valley. They will be permanently deed restricted.

Major donors included Jeanne Herberger, Wendy and Jim Drasdo, Micki and Dan Chapin, LeeAnne and Chris Linderman, the Wood River Women’s Charitable Foundation, Cynthia and Blair Hull and the Helios Foundation.

ARCH purchased the lot two years ago, according to Griffith. Identifying the land was the first step in a long process that included getting the right to put what ARCH envisioned on the land, designing the house with the help of architects, civil engineers and sculptural engineers and having the designs approved by the county.  

“There’s still a significant need for workforce housing in the county. But we have more resources,” said Griffith. “The community is involved financially with donations and with votes. All the housing initiatives that were on the ballot last year passed by 85 percent of vote—that’s huge. We’re trying to build as fast as we can, but we have to wait our turn when it comes to contractors and architects.

Blaine County Commissioner Muffy Davis was among those who attempted unsuccessfully to coax a little dirt out of the hard rocky ground with their groundbreaking shovels.

“I’m just thrilled we’re here,” she said. “This is the people’s money and we’re able to put it back into housing.”

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