More Help Needed for Greenhorn Firefighter Housing


Of the $2.4 million needed to complete the Greenhorn Housing Project, $868,701 has been raised to date, leaving $1.5 million to be secured. The campaign reached out to nearly 2,000 property owners in the North Blaine County Fire District who gave enthusiastically to ensure firefighters and first responders had housing and were able to respond quickly to emergency needs.

The Valley’s housing crisis has put quick response times at risk by forcing firefighters and paramedics to seek affordable housing further and further to the south. The ability to hire and retain the number of professionals needed as retirements occur and our community’s population grows has also been severely compromised by the lack of viable options for stable and affordable housing.

To counter these realities, the North Blaine County Fire District has committed to provide eight new single-family homes at the Greenhorn Fire Station site south of the East Fork intersection on Highway 75.  The City of Sun Valley has joined in this effort, and Blaine County has committed funding as well. The units will be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2023 and are forecast to meet our housing needs for at least the next 10 years.

To achieve the expedited timeline, the District is asking for private donations to match the public funding already committed. Donations are tax deductible. The more that can be raised, the less the project must be financed by costly debt.  These savings can be passed on in the form of lower rent for the firefighters, paramedics and their families who will live there.

We are asking Blaine County property owners to consider a donation to help protect the safety and security of people’s lives and property, including your own,” said Fire Commissioner Sarah Michael.

The Greenhorn Housing Project includes plans to install eight units of prefabricated housing and an eight-bay garage east of the Greenhorn Fire Station. The 2-acre parcel of land is secured through a lease with the Idaho Transportation Department at $1 per year for 50 years with an option to renew for an additional 45 years.

The eight units are expected to be delivered and ready for occupancy by the summer of 2023.

“It is critical that our first responders live close by in order to be there quickly when we need them,” said Jed Gray, Chair of the North Blaine County Fire District.”

The estimated total cost of the project is $3.2 million.