Friday, August 8, 2008

Housing authority touts more units

Two units still available at Scott/Northwood building

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County Housing Authority is working to find applicants for two remaining community housing units at a new commercial building in Ketchum's light industrial area.

The new Scott/Northwood commercial building at the north end of Ketchum's light-industrial area includes offices, market-rate condominiums and 15 deed-restricted community housing units.

Blaine County Housing Authority Executive Director Jim Fackrell said earlier this spring that the 15 condominiums on the second floor of the new commercial building range in price between $105,870 and $423,493. The smallest is 407 square feet and has one bedroom. The largest is 1,122 square feet and has two bedrooms.

"I think this development has the largest number of community housing units in Ketchum to date," Fackrell said. "But certainly this has been a popular development."

Blaine County Housing Authority Office Manager Nancy Smith said the authority's database of prospective community homebuyers includes about 400 area residents, but the database is being updated this year. By the end of 2008 only applicants who have applied or re-submitted in 2007 or 2008 will be included in the file.

A 2006 housing needs assessment commissioned by the authority indicated that about 3,000 people commute to work in Blaine County daily.

"Definitely people need to give us a call if they're interested," Smith said.

Smith said there will be an Idaho Housing and Finance Association buyer's education class this fall through College of Southern Idaho. The class will be held on two back-to-back Thursdays, Sept. 11 and 18, from 6-10 p.m.

"It's almost a requirement now for homeowners to educate themselves to be aware, and we want to support that," Smith said. "We're requiring—the market's requiring—that people need to take the first-time homebuyer's education class. And people do need to talk with their bank to be pre-approved, to be pre-qualified for a loan, to know where they are."

There are buying opportunities, Smith said, for people who take step-by-step, common-sense approaches.

According to the housing authority, more opportunities for deed-restricted housing are coming in Blaine County:

· Old Cutters, Buttercup Road, Hailey, to provide 25 community homes.

· Ketchum Lodge, Second Avenue, Ketchum, to offer 28 units.

· Elkhorn Springs, Sun Valley, to complete its final three community homes.

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