Affordable housing nonprofit receives grant funding | ParkRecord.com

Affordable housing nonprofit receives grant funding

Gina Barker, The Park Record

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust (MCHT), a nonprofit providing low income housing to Summit County families, received a big boost. The equal housing opportunity grant Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program (CHIP) awarded $1.3M in grants to 10 U.S. cities, including Park City.

MCTH will receive $130,000 in funding, which the nonprofit hopes to use to improve community homeownership programs in the area.

Scott Loomis, the Executive Director of the MCTH, said the grant will not only grow the staff but also improve services.

"We couldn’t hire staff we needed," Loomis said. "A substantial part of this funding will go to hiring more staff, taking pressure off of the current staff."

"Overall, we’ll be able to expand what we do for the community," he added. "We’ll be tracking and evaluating our services, providing more information to people before and after they buy a house and helping people obtain mortgages with credit issues."

Grant money was awarded to communities with restricted low income housing with the purpose of examining the effectiveness of homeownership programs such as Mountainlands Community Housing Trust. Every other grant recipient works in a more populated area than Park City, but Loomis said the need in the area was so great that point must have come through. Park City was one of 50 applicants to CHIP, winning funding alongside other cities such as Austin, Burlington, Greater Newark and Seattle.

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"I remember receiving news that this grant existed," Loomis said. "It was looking at communities with restricted low income housing, very true to Park City. The grant awarded us funding and we’ll be looking into the long-term effects of programs like ours, homeownership programs. Are they working?"

With enough funding to grow the nonprofit, MCHT plans to prove what homeownership programs for low-income families do in a community. It’s a point Loomis believes will be easy to demonstrate.

"The work of these organizations will transform the future for hundreds of families in the next two years, and set the foundation for millions of families to realize their dream of homeownership," said Rick Jacobus, Director of CHIP in a press release. "Even more, these programs will increase the number of families served without additional public investment."

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust plans to add to Summit County’s 111 units, with a few units completed in the next few years. Right now, the nonprofit has more than 50 units in Summit County and 60 inside Park City limits. Loomis said he is expecting to grow that number to 384 units approved throughout the county and Park City.

"There is so much we do now, that we can do better with this funding," he said. "And there will be more people helping us do it. It’s really going to benefit our entire community."

To learn more about MCTH visit http://www.housinghelp.org.