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Heber housing development resumes construction, adds market rate homes

Parkview Place.jpg
Mountainlands Community Housing Trust
A neighborhood plan for the Parkview Place subdivision shows a layout of 13 single-family homes, 30 townhomes and six duplex homes.

A subdivision in southwestern Heber City is back under construction after being paused for several months. And the project has changed - it will now offer both market rate and affordable homes.

Near the Heber Valley Railroad off South Field Road, Parkview Place was planned to be 49 affordable homes for local workers. But the developer says financial challenges require it to now sell some of those at market rate.

The Mountainlands Community Housing Trust is the developer. It’s a nonprofit whose mission includes building affordable homes.

Mountainlands Executive Director Pat Matheson said the nonprofit will give priority to certain segments of the workforce.

“These are going to be folks who work in the Heber Valley with the preference for, sort of, our community-builder population, if you will: teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, etc.” he said.

Deed restrictions are legally binding agreements for how homes can be sold. That’s what Mountainlands will use to keep these homes’ prices low. The deed restrictions are also expected to prohibit renting homes out once they’re sold.

Matheson said the building stopped for months this year because of problems exacerbated by COVID-19, supply chain issues and labor shortages. He also said costs have surged since beginning construction in 2019.

Now, construction of the first 14 homes has resumed.

Matheson hopes that selling some homes at market rate will offset the cost of offering others at much lower prices.

“We're really dedicated to still delivering the large, large majority of the homes to local buyers who work in the Heber Valley, at or near the original, sort of anticipated, sales price,” he said.

Matheson said he didn’t have an estimate for how many of the 49 homes would be sold at market rate.

Other strategies he said Mountainlands is pursuing to finish the project and keep costs down including hiring new contractors and designers and building faster.

The original agreement with Heber City was to build in phases, about a dozen homes at a time. But Matheson said with construction costs going up all the time and the “desperate” need for housing in the valley, the new plan is to build all the remaining homes as quickly as possible.

“We hear all the time from folks, they'll say, ‘Look, I can't live here anymore — I've got to move down to the [Provo Valley],’" he said. "And firstly, they keep their job in the Heber Valley, but eventually the commute up Provo Canyon starts to wear on them, and they take a job elsewhere. And we especially see that with teachers and first responders and others who are, you know, sort of most critical to our daily lives.”

Mountainlands has already sold three of the lots with deed restrictions on them.

Find more on the Parkview Place development here.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.