Friday, October 1, 2010

Old Cutters units get better terms

Deed covenant changed to make units more attractive to buyers


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Shelly Vegwert, left, and Amy Swanson take a stroll through Old Cutters subdivision in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

In an effort to make affordable-housing units in Old Cutters subdivision more attractive to buyers, the city of Hailey has agreed to change the deed-restriction requirements for 12 workforce-type housing units in the development.

Four workforce units and one income-based housing unit have been built so far in the subdivision northeast of downtown. None of them have sold. Workforce units can only sell to people who work in the valley. Income-based units are sold according to income-level criteria.

The workforce-deed-covenant changes, adopted by the Blaine County Commission in August, allow workforce-housing-unit owners to spend up to three months out of their homes each year, rather than one month, as allowed previously.

"This was implemented to cater to school teachers," said Kathy Grotto, executive administrator of the Blaine County Housing Authority.

The units can now be sold to anyone with a maximum net worth of double the home's price, rather than based on the previously defined income levels.

The new deed-restriction covenant also allows the owners more favorable "flip clause" terms. Previously, owners who sold their home in the first seven years had to pay administration fees and share a percentage of appreciation profits with the Housing Authority. Now, sellers only have to keep the units for five years to get full appreciation.

"The new covenant allows the seller to keep at least as much profit as the seller of an income-based unit," Grotto said.

Under the new covenant, if the Housing Authority dissolves, the city of Hailey wold take over enforcement and management of the affordable housing units at Old Cutters.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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