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Affordable Housing Orientation Explains What It Takes To Qualify For Local Housing Programs

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KPCW Radio
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Two dozen people interested in affordable housing in the Park City area attended an orientation hosted by Park City Municipal and Mountainlands Community Housing Trust Tuesday. 

Trish Walker moved to Park City in 2001 and now finds she has a need for a more reasonably priced living situation.

"This just all came on my horizon right now," Walker said. "I'm a single mom now. I used to own real estate in Park City, but that kind of went to the wayside, and I'm tired of paying the high rents. I can't right now, and so this program really interests me."

On top of her small business, Walker is also looking for a full-time job to be able to afford a place to live in Park City. If she can’t find a place, she’ll look for somewhere else to live.

"I'm probably going to move to Salt Lake," Walker said. "If I had my druthers, I'd move to the beach, but my son is in 9th grade, and he wants to finish up school here in Park City. So I'm really doing everything I can to assure that he can do that."

Park City Affordable Housing Program Manager Rhoda Stauffer and Mountainlands Community Housing Trust Development Coordinator Pat Matheson laid out the basics of affordable housing—why there’s a housing problem in the Park City area, what it means to buy a deed-restricted unit and the qualifications and selection process for buying a home in an affordable housing program. Affordable units are available to people making 80% or less of the area median income, or AMI, which is $109,000 for a family of four in Summit County. Attainable units are typically priced to accommodate 81% to 150% of the AMI.

Stauffer and Matheson also discussed upcoming housing opportunities. Park City Municipal’s eight Woodside Park Phase I units were recently finished, and Stauffer anticipates the selection process for that project will begin in December. But Mountainlands and Habitat for Humanity also have options, including the affordable units planned for the Silver Creek Village development. There are also attainable units still available in the King’s Crown development.

Zaid Nasir works at Chimayo and as a yoga teacher, and he’s been a part of the community since 2008. He currently lives in Kimball Junction, but as someone who doesn’t own a car and prefers to walk or ride his bike to work, Nasir has his eyes on one of the Woodside Park units.

“I live in this community; I want to maintain living in this community, and I want to see what more I can offer to it and what more it also has to offer me," Nasir said. "So I don't see myself leaving this place.”

Those who are interested in purchasing one of the city’s affordable or attainable housing units must attend an orientation session. The next one is Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Santy Auditorium. There are also two upcoming sessions in Spanish—the soonest is Nov. 20 at noon at Mountainlands Community Housing Trust.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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