Housing market continues to challenge Summit County workers | ParkRecord.com

Housing market continues to challenge Summit County workers

Rising cost of living puts premium on affordable housing

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust built 76 deed-restricted units known as the Elmbridge Apartments in Heber City. The organization, which advocates for affordable housing in Summit and Wasatch counties, is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.

The numbers tell the tale: Rents are increasing and wages aren't keeping pace with the costs of finding a place to live. Prices of housing are through the roof, so service workers struggle to find a place nearby, or opt to commute in from less-expensive areas of the county or from Wasatch County, Salt Lake City and even the Utah Valley. The jobs just aren't where the people can afford to live. And every fall college kids arrive to work and ski, and then scramble to find a place to sleep for the next four months.

While some employers do provide employee housing, most don't. And with Park City having the highest housing costs in the state, what affordable housing there is can strain the meaning of the phrase. While it just seems impossible to build our way out of this problem, Park City has committed to build 800 new affordable units by 2026. For example, the Central Park Condominiums that Park City bought for around $4.3 million will be sold to qualified buyers through a lottery, but required income still ranges from $43,419 for one person, to $83,754 for a household with 3 people. There will just always be fewer places than needed. There are no easy answers.