Units will help address critical housing need for hospital employees
(Ketchum, ID) – St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS) is pleased to announce it has entered into a partnership with St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and ARCH Community Housing Trust (ARCH) on a 12-unit housing development in Blaine County. This development is an important step in providing quality workforce housing to St. Luke’s Wood River employees and their families. ARCH is a Blaine County non-profit committed to developing permanently affordable housing solutions.
St. Luke’s Health System and St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation will provide funding for the construction while ARCH is contributing the land and will oversee construction.
Construction on four 3-bedroom single-family homes in Quigley Farms will begin this fall. The remaining eight units, located in Hailey and Bellevue, will begin construction next spring. All units are slated for completion within 12 months of start of construction.
The homes will be long-term rentals for St. Luke’s Wood River (SLWR) employees who meet criteria as determined by the hospital and the leases will stipulate that continued employment is a condition of housing.
Carmen Jacobsen, COO/CNO of St. Luke’s Wood River, explains the need, “The limited availability of housing to rent or own is a challenge felt by our entire community and significantly impacts the ability to recruit and retain employees at SLWR. It affects all job families and levels, clinical and non-clinical.” She adds, “St. Luke’s Wood River currently has 69 vacant positions with a vacancy rate much higher than the three hospitals in our region. Nursing positions account for 28% of the vacancies. Despite offering significant financial incentives, the lack of available housing and the cost of living are frequently cited as the primary reason for declination of employment offers.”
“This is a significant investment to help St. Luke’s Wood River recruit and retain critical healthcare workers. Our employees are dedicated to helping take care of the community and St. Luke’s is continuing to pursue several other strategies to support hospital employees and their families,” offered Chris Roth, St. Luke’s Health System President & CEO.
Megan Tanous, SLWR Foundation Chief Development Officer, addressed the importance of funding projects that support hospital employees. “St. Luke’s Wood River has always provided exceptional health care to our community and COVID has created the greatest need for medical resources in our nation’s history. Through it all, our goal to ensure clinical excellence and empower health for all remains paramount and investing in housing aids in our ability to deliver. We are grateful to all who helped put St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation in the position of strength from which it could invest in a housing solution for health care workers,” Tanous said. “Generosity has never been more important.”
Michelle Griffith, Executive Director of ARCH Housing Trust commented, “It is a testament to St. Luke’s Wood River’s dedication to addressing employee housing that, in the midst of a public health crisis, senior leadership focused on this housing opportunity. ARCH is proud to deliver affordability in new, beautiful homes for our critical health care employees. We look forward to our continued partnership with SLWR and the SLWR Foundation.”
To help support housing for healthcare workers, visit www.slwrf.org or contact Megan Tanous (208) 727-8444.
St. Luke’s announces partnership on housing development in Wood River Valley