Real Estate Happenings
Housing & Economic Development
December 2020 - January 2021
Driving south on Spanish Valley Drive you will notice a large swath of red dirt being moved and graded. Welcome to Arroyo Crossing. This carefully planned neighborhood will be a mixture of single family, twin homes, townhomes, cottages, and rental apartments, all priced for locals and to remain in the hands of locals.
|Affordable Housing at Arroyo Crossing
by Audrey Graham, MACLT, President
Three years ago, 42 acres of land were donated to the Moab Area Community Land Trust (MACLT), a 501c3 non-profit whose mission was to develop permanently affordable housing for the Moab area. The board of MACLT, and others, have been hard at work planning approximately 300 units of housing which are deed restricted for Moab workers and retirees. The land will be leased to home owners for 99 years, renewable for another 99 years. This housing is for locals, by locals, and with local control.
Homes are deed restricted, which means they will be permanently affordable (that is, using up about 30% of a typical local family’s income). An owner may live in the home forever, even if/when their income increases. Owners may pass homes onto heirs and know that they will have a roof overhead as long as the affordable mortgage and small lease fee is paid. That said, there are limits on who the owner can resell to, specifically only to another local resident. Resales are limited on profits which means no “flipping.” There are no second home sales, no overnight rentals, and the homes stay affordable to future buyers.
What is “affordable?” Families may make up to 120% of the “area median income” (about $56,000 for a family of four). A minimum of 50% of the units must be under a sales price of about $190,000. Other larger homes will be up to $283,000. This allows people a range of homes to choose from based on income and family situations. Rental units are expected to range from about $600 to $1,000/month depending on size and number of bedrooms.
Arroyo Crossing is a seven + year project. “We started Jan 2, 2020, building all the infrastructure,” President Audrey Graham explains, “By this December, 2020, the sidewalks, curb, gutter, drainage, roads, and utilities will be in place and we’ll be ready to build”. Community Rebuilds and Housing Authority of SE Utah expect to begin building homes in early 2021. They are currently taking applications for residents. Another non-profit organization, Utah Housing Corporation, is ramping up to build later in 2021. “We are currently keeping a list of interested parties,” noted Audrey Graham. “We will help guide them to organizations and builders that are actively participating. As for a timeline, it looks like we will have approximately 41 homes in place by the end of 2022, with the potential for 30 others, as well as apartments in the works by 2023.”
For renters, income verification will occur periodically, to ensure that Moab workers most in need of housing are served. The homes are viewed as “starter” housing, where renters may eventually qualify for home ownership.
On the fun side, neighborhood design is friendly and in harmony with nature. The board created smaller footprint homes than other developments, with less emphasis on garages and more on people and porches. According to Graham, “Our priority is building shelter for people, not vehicles.” Energy efficiency is built in, and passive and active solar are encouraged. Street lighting is minimized and down-lighted to emphasize our Dark Sky designation. There is a community garden in the works. TerraSophia is developing inviting open spaces and will have a perimeter trail for public use, as well as a children’s play area with natural play items and shade trees. Together with Grand County there is a section of bike trail along Spanish Valley Drive, which will hopefully encourage bike use and decrease traffic impacts along that road.
“I am so excited to be working with Head Start towards an on-site childcare facility,” says Graham, who works with parents, babies and toddlers for a living. The plan also calls for two other community-oriented commercial spaces to fill the needs of this development, as well as for nearby Spanish Valley residents. The goal is to create for Moab residents energy efficient, comfortable, and inviting homes to raise families, retire, and enjoy all that Moab has to offer at a price that allows for growth and well-being for locals. For more information go to www.Moabclt.org