Improving Employee Housing

Yellowstone National Park has initiated a major, multimillion-dollar housing improvement effort that will substantially upgrade National Park Service employee housing across the park. “Our ability to attract and retain talent in Yellowstone is strongly tied to the availability and affordability of housing options in and around the park,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. The effort focuses on four goals:
Old Trailer next to new modular home
Left: Outdated employee housing trailer. Right: Newly-installed, 2-bedroom modular home.
Goal 1: Replace 64 outdated trailers with high-quality modular cabins. Yellowstone currently has 64 trailers, built between 1960-1983, that house 80-100 employees annually. The condition of each trailer is extremely substandard and immediate replacement is necessary. In 2020, the park will replace about 35 trailers at Old Faithful, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Bechler with high-quality modular cabins. In 2021, the remaining trailers will be replaced. All replacements will be in existing developed areas.
Non-historic housing with external siding in poor condition. New siding installed on non-historic housing.
Left: non-historic housing with siding in poor condition. Right: housing with newly-installed siding.
Goal 2: Improve the condition of 150 non-trailer and non-historic housing units. Yellowstone is investing millions to upgrade dilapidated employee housing units between 2020 and 2023. Many of these units have not had improvements in decades. Planned improvements range from roofing and siding replacements, to major interior work including new flooring, better insulation, and improved heating systems. Over 50 improvement projects are scheduled for 2020.
Historic housing with poor external condition. Close-up view of paint peeling from siding and wood in poor condition.
Left: historic housing in Fort Yellowstone in poor condition. Right: close-up of peeling paint and siding in need of repair.
Goal 3: Rehabilitate deteriorating historic homes. The park intends to improve the condition of a wide range of historic housing structures, many that date back to the late 1800s in Fort Yellowstone, a National Historic Landmark, and in other areas of the park. The park is in the process of conducting necessary condition assessments, historic structure reports, and consultations to determine the funding needed and prioritization and execution timelines of this goal.
Goal 4: Add new housing capacity. The lack of available housing in surrounding communities is substantially impacting workforce recruitment. Additionally, park visitation has increased 45% since 2000 and requires more staffing to manage park operations. For these reasons, the park is assessing the number of additional housing units that may be needed. New housing units would only be placed in existing developed areas.

Last updated: March 9, 2021

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