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State housing fund estimates Elk Meadows needs $2 million in renovations

Michelle Deininger

The Utah Housing Preservation Fund wants Summit County to contribute $500,000 to help it fix up the affordable apartment complex near Kimball Junction.

County staff will share the Utah Housing Preservation Fund’s plans to improve living conditions at Elk Meadows Apartments—now Victory at Summit—with the Summit County Council at its meeting Wednesday.

It’s part of the council’s process to consider whether to grant $500,000 to the agency, which is owned by the nonprofit Utah Housing Coalition. UHPF bought Elk Meadows late last year from its previous owner, Seattle-based Security Properties.

Security Properties lost its business license with the county for Elk Meadows in 2020 after reports of cockroaches, bed bugs, unsafe stairs and missing or broken smoke detectors.

Tenants who complained about the conditions had their leases terminated.

Security Properties finally regained its business license in October 2021 after making repairs. It put Elk Meadows on the market the following summer.

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust asked UHPF to step in, worried the apartments would be picked up by an owner who would not keep the apartments affordable.

The fund buys properties at risk of becoming unaffordable, fixes them up and then rents them at affordable rates.

The housing fund found that Elk Meadows’ needs include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, stairways, paint, better security, Dark Skies-compliant lighting and more. The apartment complex also needs new signs and branding. Technically, it’s been renamed “Victory at Summit.”

It’s expected to cost $2.1 million, and the housing fund is asking Summit County to reimburse it for a quarter of that cost.

County staff note in their report to the council that giving UHPF this grant aligns with strategies outlined in the county’s moderate-income housing plan.

At an April 12 council meeting, Council Chair Roger Armstrong said the money would be in exchange for keeping rents low.

“The quid pro quo with that would be really robust deed restrictions that would satisfy what we want,” Armstrong said.

Councilmember Chris Robinson wondered aloud about whether the housing fund would be interested in making the county an investment partner on the property. So whether the county could see some of Elk Meadows’ rent revenue might be part of Wednesday’s discussion.

But it is just a work session to fill in councilmembers on the proposal. The grant is tentatively scheduled to be up for approval May 10.

Other items on this week’s agenda include a discussion on the Silver Summit County Services building, consideration of approval of various tax-exemption applications and a public hearing and possible action on fees for developers to finance transportation improvements.

The council meets Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Sheldon Richins Building at Kimball Junction, and on Zoom.

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