An affordable condominium project in Silver Creek Village is under construction
One weekday evening last month, about 15 people filed into a room at Mountainlands Community Housing Trust to learn about new affordable condominiums the nonprofit is selling in Silver Creek.
Scott Loomis, Mountainlands’ executive director, stood at the front of the room and flipped through slides explaining the Central Village Condominium project. Attendees listened attentively and paged through materials laid out in front of each seat neatly in a folder. Most appeared to be between 30 and 50 years old, some munched on the provided snacks.
Jill Kozolowski, who attended the info session with her father, said she came because she was interested to see whether the condos would actually be affordable. She said she was excited by the project and that she was looking forward to the opportunity to have a place of her own.
She added that the project’s location would shorten her commute and that she liked the planned green space.
Silver Creek Village is at the southeast corner of the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. 40. At full build-out, the new neighborhood is planned to include 1,290 homes, 330 of which will be affordable, as well as parks, trails connecting to the nearby Round Valley system and planned Triangle and Gillmor parcel trails, a school, a commercial zone and amenities like community gardens.
Half of the units in Mountainlands’ Central Village project are earmarked for those making less than 60% of the area median income, and the other half for those making 80% of it or less. In 2019, that number was $109,800 for a family of four or $76,860 for an individual.
Prices for the condos vary based on income, but Loomis explained that Mountainlands plans to sell the units for less than the maximum it could charge.
“We’re a nonprofit, so basically you’re getting these buildings at cost or close to it,” Loomis said. “Most of you know, there’s not too many rentals you can find in Summit County. The ones you can find — fairly highly priced, keep going up.”
Prices range from a one-bedroom for $165,000 for an individual who makes less than $46,116, to a three-bedroom for $299,000 for a person making less than $61,488. For families of four, the household income restrictions in 2019 were $65,880 and $87,840, respectively, though Loomis notes that those numbers will be reformulated for 2020.
One of the two Central Village buildings is under construction and is expected to be completed in September. It includes 32 two-bedroom apartments, which range in anticipated cost from $205,000 to $255,000 based on the applicant’s income and the individual unit.
The units’ appreciation is capped at 3% annually, meaning if someone bought a condo for $200,000 and sold it 10 years later, it could be sold for $260,000. By starting the price well below market value, Loomis explained, the owners would likely be able to collect the 3% appreciation even as the units retain their affordable designation. Plus, it allows homeowners to build at least some equity, something that isn’t possible while renting.
Elected officials have for years stressed the need to increase the amount of affordable housing in the area. In 2016, the median sales price of a single-family home in the Snyderville Basin was $926,000, according to a study commissioned by Summit County.
But the term itself has drawn derision from some locals, who question how a $500,000 condo could be considered affordable. Determining what counts as affordable housing is based on the area’s median income, and most projects are geared toward those making between 60% and 120% of that number.
Despite the aims of officials, increasing the housing supply has proven challenging. Park City and the county require new developments to include affordable housing, either by building the units or paying a fee instead, but housing stock is coming online slowly.
Loomis, though, sees a positive trend in the for-sale affordable market, identifying what he said are about 200 units becoming available in the next couple of years. In addition to those seven units, Park City is eyeing 58 units in the second phase of the Old Town project, known as Woodside Park. Other for-sale projects include 30 units in Discovery Ridge, just off Kilby Road, as well as units under construction in Park City Heights and the hundreds of units in Silver Creek Village, which will likely be a mix of rental and ownership opportunities. In Canyons Village, a recently approved plan for mostly shared-occupancy rooms would provide enough rental housing for 1,153 workers.
Park City has identified a goal of providing 800 affordable or workforce units by 2026.
Jeff Jones, the county’s housing director, said it is challenging to thread the needle to find people who make enough to purchase an affordable home but not too much to disqualify them.
He added that the area’s need is greater for inexpensive rentals for workers in the service-based economy.
After the info session had ended and Loomis had answered some specific questions, like whether pets would be allowed in the units, Kozolowski chatted with her dad about potentially signing up to buy a condo.
She had aligned the building layout with the project’s map and the pair was discussing the relative merits of the second floor versus the first or choosing a condo that overlooked the road.
“My sharing days are over,” she said.
Those interested in the Central Village Condominiums must attend an information session at Mountainlands Community Housing Trust. For information, head to housinghelp.org/centralvillagecondos/.
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