Park City housing: How much is too much to qualify, and what’s with these resale caps?
Someone interested in a City Hall workforce or otherwise affordable housing project likely is not considering something called a deed restriction when they are first weighing whether to attempt to acquire one of the units.
And they also might not fully understand if they even qualify to buy in a municipal project.
As Park City officials continue to press an aggressive housing program, City Hall and the not-for-profit Mountainlands Community Housing Trust have scheduled a series of events designed for people who are contemplating submitting an application for a restricted unit. The events, billed as orientations, will cover the mechanics of the housing program in addition to projects themselves. Someone must attend one of the sessions to be eligible to apply to acquire a City Hall-developed unit.
The City Hall housing program, as well as the programs offered by Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, are available to people who qualify through their incomes. The income restrictions differ between projects and change over time as the area’s median income moves. It is expected the people attending the events will seek details about income restrictions since the numbers are crucial to someone who is interested in a unit.
As an example, City Hall has already set income levels for the first phase of the municipal Woodside Park housing development in northern Old Town. The municipal government set the income cap for units that are deemed to be affordable at $61,488 annually for a one-person household and $70,272 annually for a two-person household with the figures increasing as households become larger. Units in the project that are priced at an attainable level are available to one-person households with an annual income topping out at $115,290 and two-person households earning as much as $131,760 per year. The attainable figures also increase with the household size.
The numbers are based on a formula that relies in the area median income. The units that are categorized as affordable are available to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income while the attainable ones are available to households earning between 81 percent and 150 percent of the area median income.
Rhoda Stauffer, who is the affordable housing program manager at City Hall, and a representative of Mountainlands Community Housing Trust are slated to lead the events. Stauffer said the events will cover developments like the first phase of the municipal Woodside Park housing in northern Old Town. Mountainlands Community Housing Trust projects that will be covered include units in Silver Creek while information will also be available about Habitat for Humanity work in Silver Creek.
Stauffer said the presenters will discuss the deed restrictions that are attached to the units. The restrictions are meant to ensure the units remain affordable for the intended buyers even after they are sold for the first time.
A key deed restriction on workforce or otherwise affordable units is a cap on the annual appreciation of a unit. The cap is meant to ensure that a unit is not priced at market rates when it is resold, something that could provide a financial windfall for the seller and make a unit too expensive for the workforce.
Another key restriction prohibits someone from owning another property at the same time they have a restricted unit. Someone is also required to live in a restricted unit on a full-time basis.
Park City is pursuing an aggressive housing program with the goal of adding 800 restricted units by 2026. Officials intend to meet the goal through a combination of municipal projects, units the private sector is obligated to create and partnerships between the municipal government and the private sector.
City Hall leaders have long seen there being broad benefits to the housing program in a community where the resort-driven real estate market has priced out many rank-and-file workers. They say the restricted housing reduces commuter traffic and adds socioeconomic diversity. Critics, though, sometimes question the location and size of workforce or otherwise affordable housing development proposals.
The schedule of the events organized by City Hall and Mountainlands Community Housing Trust:
• Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library
• Wednesday, Nov. 20 at noon at the Mountainlands Community Housing Trust offices, 1960 Sidewinder Drive, Suite 107. The session will be in Spanish.
• Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Christian Center of Park City, 1283 Deer Valley Drive. The session will be in Spanish.
• Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library.
For more information, contact Stauffer at 615-5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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