Park City Heights affordable homes delayed two months
The first homes in Park City Heights go on sale Monday, but residents hoping to buy the development’s much-anticipated affordable housing will have to wait a few more months.
Despite intense interest, developer Ivory Homes has yet to decide how residents can apply for the affordable housing or set the exact prices for those homes, said Troy Goff, the development’s project manager.
That process, and especially the prices, should be ready for the public in one or two months, Goff said.
What will be for sale Monday are the so-called market-price homes. Buyers for those homes can start making offers immediately and working with architects on the design. However, the earliest that area residents will see completed homes sprouting at the Quinn’s Junction development is next March or April.
Park City Heights, a contentious development for several years, partnered with the city to build roughly one-third of its homes below market level. Of the overall 211 projected single-family homes, 79 are categorized as affordable. The developers also will build 28 affordable townhouses. Prices for the affordable single-family and townhouses will average between $250,000 and slightly more than $400,000. Some townhouses could actually drop below the $250,000 mark, Goff said.
On Monday, the start of its first development phase, Park City Heights will offer just more than 100 market-price homes for sale. Once the development is ready to put the affordable homes on the market, it will list 10 houses: six single-family, four townhomes. Eventually, the development will sell between 10-20 affordable homes annually during the next several years. Given demand, that yearly number could jump.
Interest to buy the affordable homes has been intense, said Rhoda Stauffer, housing specialist at Park City Municipal. She estimated between 150-200 residents have contacted her to qualify for the homes.
To be eligible, residents who want to buy the affordable homes must:
- Work full time (30 hours) within Park City school district boundaries;
- Plan to make a Park City Heights home a primary residence;
- Own no other home or property after buying a Park City Heights house;
- Have no plans to rent the Park City Heights home.
The agreement with the city requires Ivory Homes to set aside about one-third of the affordable housing for employees of Intermountain Healthcare, the owner of Park City Medical Center located across S.R. 248. Those employees will receive first preference. After that, residents who have worked the longest in Park City will also move to the top of the list.
Once Ivory Homes is ready to put the affordable homes on the market, it will email those who have expressed interest, using lists generated by both the city and developer. The developer will attach questionnaires to help evaluate eligible buyers, Goff said.
Ivory Homes will eliminate no one because of income level.
Goff estimated that vetting the applications will take about two months: two weeks to fill out the questionnaires, then 35-40 days to rank the buyers.
The developer will oversee ranking the applications even though it must report to the Park City Council once a year on the sales and how they comply with the city’s agreement, Stauffer said the city will not double-check the developer’s rankings.
"I trust they are selling in accordance with the deed restrictions," she said.
Supplying homes that are affordable to those who work within the Park City School District boundaries has been debated for two decades. The city’s goal is to make 7 percent of its housing stock affordable by 2020, up from the current 5.3 percent. Stauffer said Park City Heights represents an important component to reach that goal.
Those who help residents locate below-market housing say the demand continues. They welcome the new homes.
"The need for affordable housing persists," said Brian Guyer, ownership program manager for Mountainlands Community Housing Trust. "It’s as great as it’s ever been. The fact that these type of homes would hit the market in two months is fantastic."
He found the price range of the affordable housing to fall within acceptable guidelines for a Summit County home.
"Any time you can price a unit $100,000 below the market, you’re kind of hitting the target," he said.
Despite the high number of residents seeking eligibility for the Park City Heights homes, Stauffer believes those numbers will eventually winnow.
"We think most who are qualified to live there will be able to buy homes," she said.
Meeting the requirements will naturally weed out those who don’t qualify, she said. She has found the number of qualified buyers drops as the marketing date approaches.
"In my experience people aren’t as ready when they think they are, and there’s a lot of fallout when sales begin," she said.
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