Packed In: City of Rathdrum passes ordinance to lower home prices, demand

RATHDRUM, Idaho — It’s easier to find an apartment in Rathdrum than a home, which is exactly what the city wants to fix.

The median price for a home in Rathdrum is $488,000, a nearly unattainable price for people that lived there before the boom.

Annika Thompson knows she wants a beautiful home to raise her family where she grew up. However, she’s unsure if she’ll be able to find a home with rising prices.

“Both my sisters moved away, and I’m the kid that wants to stay at home,” Thompson said. “That’s pretty much what I’m worried about, locals that have had generations here aren’t going to be able to stick around and their kids aren’t going to be able to stick around.”

Chalayne Pribyl’s kids are facing that same problem. They can’t afford a home in Rathdrum.

“I have kids that have excellent incomes, and two incomes at that even, and to be able to find enough for their family size has been very difficult,” Pribyl said.

In early October, the city of Rathdrum passed an ordinance they hope will fix the problem. It opened up more space for duplexes, triplexes, and mother-in-law homes.

“It divided out our R3 zone, which is our high-density zoning to allow for multi-family in certain areas and single-family in other areas,” said city administrator Leon Duce.

Duce says before, developers would rather build an apartment complex than build more homes. The goal now is to increase the amount of homes in the city so the supply goes up and cost goes down.

“This division within the zoning ordinance for R3, allows for us to dedicate land for high-density housing for just housing, rather than apartment buildings and so forth like that,” Duce said.

Long-time residents can’t wait for the solution to work.

“I want my kids to be here and be near us and this is where they were born and raised, and I think it’s about time the housing market got to a ceiling of some sort… it has to get to some sort of limit where people can afford it,” Pribyl said.

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