Worker housing accomplishments spotlighted | ParkRecord.com

Worker housing accomplishments spotlighted

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall lists two well-publicized work force housing moves as being among the highlights of the 12-month period that ended in June, mentioning the completion of the Snow Creek Cottages and a work force housing-heavy agreement between the municipal government and The Boyer Company as being among the 10 accomplishments.

Rhoda Stauffer, who handles City Hall’s housing programs, compiled the bullet-point list and provided it to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council. The Snow Creek Cottages, located outside the Park Avenue police station and encompassing 13 houses, and the agreement with The Boyer Company are the most significant of the 10.

The Snow Creek Cottages was City Hall’s most ambitious brick-and-mortar work force housing development while officials anticipate the deal with The Boyer Company will deliver a large bloc of housing that is set aside for the work force once the two sides develop the Park City Heights project at Quinn’s Junction.

Some of the other highlights from the 12-month period — City Hall’s 2010 fiscal year — that were put on the list include:

  • Providing second mortgages to two City Hall employees to assist them in buying a house.
  • For the second time using the Park Avenue building where a fire station was once located as seasonal housing for 10 municipal transit employees.
  • Intervening after someone defaulted on the loan on a work force unit in the Line Condominiums on Deer Valley Drive. doing so, City Hall kept the unit in the work force pool.
  • Holding five homebuyer-education seminars, with attendance totaling more than 100 people.
  • Completing a survey alongside Summit County officials designed to learn about critical issues senior citizens face.
  • Hosting a roundtable with lenders meant to inform them of the work force restrictions attached to the Snow Creek Cottages houses.

    City Hall has long seen itself as being among the top local supporters of work force housing, and Park City politicians have for years included a work force housing plank in their platforms.

    The backers argue there are wide-ranging benefits to the community when people are able to live close to where they work, with a reduction in commuter traffic commonly mentioned. Park City’s resort-driven housing market is the most expensive in the state.

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    The Snow Creek Cottages went up amid opposition from people who live close to the site. The critics were worried about issues like the project’s effects on nearby streams and the loss of a swath of open space within the city limits.

    Meanwhile, a statewide housing group recently honored the Snow Creek Cottages as the Project of the Year. The Utah Housing Coalition graded the project on "leadership in design, financing and targeting community needs," City Hall said in a prepared statement announcing the award.

    City Hall built the Snow Creek Cottages "to address a pressing need for affordable homeownership opportunities for its local workforce," the statement said.

    The Utah Housing Coalition also honored a local loan officer, Rich Miller, for his work with homebuyers with low or moderate incomes. The City Hall statement said Miller since early 2009 has helped 14 households with lower incomes become homeowners. Several of them bought at Snow Creek Cottages, City Hall said.

    DesignBuildBLUFF, a local firm founded by an architect named Hank Louis, was noted for its "innovative approaches to creating not only housing for an underserved population but also in creating a community of collaboration and understanding," the city said.

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