Park City Trying to Keep Affordable Housing for Workers

Park City Trying to Keep Affordable Housing for Workers

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- City officials want to make sure the people who work to keep this resort community running can also afford to live here.

The former silver boomtown is now home to three of Utah's largest ski resorts and is a popular destination for skiers throughout the world. And the tourists and wealthy second-home owners who want to hit Utah's ski slopes can afford to pay more for housing than people making hourly wages.

Park City officials say housing with restricted rents or mortgages exists for about 10 percent of the town's 7,900 residents.

"One of the things that has always defined Park City as a community is economic diversity," Mayor Dana Williams said.

Summit County is named in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year, alleging it falls short of Fair Housing Act rules.

Williams said the city is reviving its Housing Authority to help make sure more affordable housing is available.

Park City loaned $100,000 and gave fee waivers of $115,000 to Mountainlands Housing Trust, a nonprofit agency, to build 22 condominiums that will range in price from $87,000 to $165,000.

"We've had 22 people on the (waiting) list for two years," said Scott Loomis, the trust's executive director. "They are basically getting them for our cost."

As long as there is demand, city officials will face a challenge of keeping affordable housing available in an upscale community. Building in neighboring areas where land, although rising rapidly in cost, remains available is one possibility.

"We will have to find ways to chip away at it here and there," said Scott Loomis, executive director of Mountainlands Housing Trust. "But will this problem ever be solved in Park City? No."


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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