The Problem

North Idaho Housing Crisis

North Idaho’s Housing Crisis

Many people in North Idaho have seen their dream of buying a home forever fade away, and with it the opportunity to finally build equity wealth to improve their lives.

Saving money for a house has become impossible and local rental prices have risen 35%. Approximately 44% of Kootenai County households cannot afford to pay the July 2023 average market rent of $1,580, based on a 30% gross monthly income ceiling.  These families are paying more than 30% of their income for housing and some are paying more than 50%.  

In the last seven years, the median price of a single-family residence in Kootenai County has more than doubled to over $500,000. So middle-class households, like our local teachers, firefighters and police officers who earn good Idaho wages, can no longer afford to buy. This adds to the rental shortage.

The homeownership crisis is causing skilled and experienced workers to leave our area, negatively affecting local businesses, tax revenues and economic growth.

Can North Idaho’s Housing Crisis be solved? YES.

Reversing this situation will take innovative ideas to make homeownership accessible for more people. At PAHA, we’re up for the challenge. Read about the viable solutions taking root here in Kootenai County and in other parts of the State of Idaho.

Differences in financial household type and age of householder in Kootenai County:

The percentage of households able to afford a home fell from 75% in 2016 to 20% in 2023.

In 2021, 31% were working poor (ALICE-Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed) and 10% were living at or below the Federal Poverty Level. This represents approximately 72,000 men, women and children living in Kootenai County.

A Kootenai County family of four earning $30 per hour or $63,000 annually is considered “poor” by the Federal Government.