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Mountainlands Aiming For 2019 Open Of Silver Creek Development

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust

Mountainlands Community Housing is getting closer and closer to completing their new development, this despite challenges from increasing construction costs.

Steve Laurent with Mountainlands Community Housing says that in a place like Park City oftentimes the term affordable is relative.

“It’s all relative and we have a lot of people walk into our office everyday and we talk about pricing for for sale units and they say, well gosh that’s not affordable, at least that’s not affordable for me." Laurent continued, "It is all relative, but we do what we can. We’ve got issues in this community, right? It costs a lot to construct, there’s a lot of price in the land to start with. So, you start with those two issues it’s just hard to bring the price down on something that’s affordable for a lot of people who are here. That’s why we rely on rentals a lot and that’s one thing that we need in our community more and more is rentals.”

Laurent notes that rentals have taken a significant dip with nightly rental units increasing in popularity.

“We hear this comment quite often, I’m about to lose my apartment, my landlord has decided to turn it over to Airbnb or put it into the nightly rental pool." Laurent explained, "If you want to do something in the community about the affordable housing issue seriously consider taking your resources, if you’re a landlord or if you own a property or a single room take it out of the nightly rental pool. Take it out of Airbnb. Try to find somebody who can rent it for 9 months, for a year, long term. There’s a lot of people who sacrifice a lot to be in this town and think about making a future in this town. I think we need longer-term rentals. So, if you want to pitch in, if you’re out there it’s my plea to local landlords. We all know somebody who may have bought a unit when the market was down. Think about what you can do to help your community by providing a long-term rental.”

Meanwhile Mountainlands Community Housing is getting closer to finishing their Miners Row Townhomes in Silver Creek Village.

“Right now, we are taking in applications for 31 town-homes." Laurent said, "We hope to get started, really as soon as possible. This is at Silver Creek Village out by the Home Depot. We’ve been talking about this for some time. Those plans are under review right now at the county and the building department. Once we get a building permit on that we can get the project bid and get to building. The issue is weather maybe a little bit so conservatively we would say spring, late summer. We’re taking applications in right now. We’ve got about 40 or 50 of them that I’m looking at to qualify people. There’s always room for more. Ivory Homes has got stuff going on at Park City, there’s a development called Discovery out by the Weilenmann School. There’s really a lot kind of on the horizon. We’re excited, it’s a good time in Park City for people who are looking to own affordable housing.”

With construction costs increasing by about 25% annually, Laurent says that Mountainlands has faced some challenges.

“That’s impacted us greatly and in fact the townhomes that I’m talking about out at Silver Creek Village." Laurent continued, "I guess the issue for us especially is we’ve got a price-restricted property and you’re trying to keep the price low. When the construction costs go up, we don’t have any room like a traditional developer to raise the price. We appreciate people who have been waiting for some of this housing that we’re trying to provide. It’s caused delays and the cost to borrow money has gone up a lot in the meantime. So, the buying power of people who are going to live in these units is going down. It’s tough, I say it over and over again it’s tough.”

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