Moab Area Housing Task Force Updates
July’s meeting of the Moab Area Housing Task Force featured many updates on the area’s in-progress housing efforts, as well as transitions in personnel for many local agencies.
The city of Moab received several responses to its request for proposals for its future affordable housing complex on Walnut Lane, and will be evaluating those proposals in order to start the infrastructure and design of the project. Both city and county councils plan to vote soon on overnight accommodations ordinances. As written, the ordinances are very similar, and will limit overnight accommodations development to existing and vested projects, with the structure in place for future proposals to be added after the jurisdictions create appropriate standards for overnight development (such as rules on size, mixed-use development, and energy efficiency). Both jurisdictions are also working on collecting the affordable housing funds, or ensuring the affordable unit construction, required of overnight developments that applied between the assured housing ordinance passage and the current moratorium.
The county’s high density housing ordinance has received applications for hundreds of workforce housing units, which are in different stages of the approval pipeline, including one 40-unit development that is fully approved. This significant interest will soon result in reaching the 300 unit maximum of the original ordinances, after which the council will have the option of renewing the ordinance and extending this cap. The council recently passed slight amendments to the current ordinance, which will give them a better idea of the design of proposed developments as they are debating whether to approve them, and will also allow for retired former members of the local workforce to remain in HDH units as long as they have lived and worked full time in Grand County for 5 years before they retire.
The Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah will hold an open house for 5 mutual self help homes in Blanding on August 22nd, in addition to finished 2 rehab projects in the area. Their newest round of mutual self help homes will begin in the fall in their Wingate Village subdivision, south of the Moab KOA campsite. In addition, the MAPS senior housing facility next to Grand Center and the hospital is projected to start construction at the beginning of August.
Community Rebuild’s spring semester interns constructed a twin home in the city of Moab and a single detached home in Spanish Valley, all for local low-income families. The incoming group of interns arrived in mid-July, and work on a new subdivision on the location of the former intern housing at 808 Millcreek. This 4 home subdivision will be built in accordance with Living Building Challenge, one of the most rigorous sustainabilities metrics in the construction field.
The master plan for the Moab Area Community Land Trust’s 300 unit Arroyo Housing development went before planning commission in July and received a favorable recommendation, and awaits the council’s approval before beginning construction on infrastructure.
On the personnel side, arrivals and departures in Moab’s Americorps VISTAs will affect the housing task force, as Grand County’s VISTA JD McClanahan and Community Rebuilds’s Jordan Deschamp leave town in August. However, JD’s position will be filled by a new VISTA, and Jordan’s by Community Rebuilds’s staff. The Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah just gained their first VISTA, Alex Oldham, whose job will include increasing the task force’s public outreach efforts to better educate Grand County builders and the general public..