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Affordable Housing Seminar This Saturday

This Saturday, Mountain Life Church is hosting Mountainlands Community Housing for a seminar on affordable housing. The event is meant to educate those in need and those who can help.

Laura Behnke grew up in Park City and is now a realtor and the caregiving director at Mountain Life Church. Behnke says that both jobs fuel her interest in affordable housing.

“I come across two different situations." Behnke explained, "One with real estate I have friends that are always asking about what the prices are, if they can afford something. They’re sick and tired of always moving every six months because the landlords are trying to capitalize on the winter months, and then they find out they can’t afford some of the prices here. On the other hand, at Mountain Life we are running into some more crisis situations. Sometimes we find people living in their cars. It’s not because they want to be a ski bum and they want to live in Park City but because of domestic violence or they lost their job. It just became one of those things on my heart, okay well how do we help these people?”

Behnke added that the event is meant to educate the community both those who need affordable housing help and those who can help. Steve Laurent with Mountainlands Community Housing emphasized that goal of education.

“We’re really gearing this for people that are interested just generally in housing issues." Laurent said, "We have a lot of people that just want to get educated get up to speed. It’s a very difficult and complex area. We want to talk to people who have a very specific need for housing or maybe know people or have friends or people they’ve heard of that have a need. They can take some information that we might provide on Saturday and let them know what the resources are or help them understand things a little better. People who might want to become an advocate or get involved. We’re just going to try to get some good info, maybe dispel some rumors or issues that are out there floating around the community about what affordable housing is or isn’t. Of course, we’ll be in a church so if anybody wants to come and give testimony about any experience they’ve had or success stories that they’ve had in affordable housing. I don’t entirely mean that as a joke. I think there’s a lot of people that have gone through affordable housing in this community and they have great stories to tell and they can lend a hand to people who are in need by telling their own stories”

The presentation will last about an hour with Q&A afterwards and additional organizations and resources that people can learn about after the seminar.

“Probably an hours’ worth of presentation." Laurent continued, "We’re going to cover a variety of topics what is the housing problem? Why does it exist? Just kind of generally more informative, what is affordable housing? What’s a deed restriction? What is income eligibility, AMI? All these things we talk about and hear about in the community, try to provide some practical information on that. What we do, Mountainlands specifically, how does affordable housing work with us, through us. We want to spend a lot of time talking about opportunities for housing we are developing some new opportunities. There are others, there are developers in the community the city itself.”

The Affordable housing seminar starts at 10:00 am at Mountain Life Church, childcare is available for those that contact the church.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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