For the week of June 30, 1999  thru July 6, 1999  

Who qualifies for a Fields affordable unit?

One hundred pages of guidelines

Express Staff Writer

u30fields.jpg (10061 bytes)Before former Ketchum and Blaine County housing director Karl Fulmer ended his two-year stint in November, he and housing authority members created an elaborate process by which candidates for the county’s affordable housing projects will be selected.

What follows is a synopsis of the almost 100 pages of guidelines the authorities drew up.

As of Friday, 53 Blaine County residents were registered with the Ketchum Housing Authority to be considered as potential buyers of one of the "affordable" condominium units at Ketchum’s Fields at Warm Springs, the city’s and county’s first affordable housing project.

However, there are only 14 affordable units, which will be priced somewhere between $129,500 and $138,500. The selection system has been designed to offer the units to those most in need. Partly modeled after criteria formed by an Aspen, Colo. housing commission, it sets up a six-tiered qualification process, Ketchum housing director Steve Amsbaugh said.

Those in the first tier will have first crack at the Field’s affordable units. In that category, potential buyers must commit to inhabiting a unit with two people and have worked in Blaine County for at least four years. All 14 of the affordable units will have two bedrooms.

Those in the second tier must inhabit a unit with two people, and have lived in Blaine County for one to four years.

Those in the third tier will have two inhabitants and will have lived in Blaine County for less than one year.

The bottom three tiers follow the same residency criteria but will be filled by those who plan to inhabit the units singly.

Ties within the tiers will be broken by reviewing applicants’ net worth and maximum incomes. If ties continue to exist, winners will be drawn by lottery.

"If we were to get 14 people out of the first group, we wouldn’t have to go any further," Amsbaugh said.

Amsbaugh admitted that the $100,000-plus Fields units are not truly affordable for all potential buyers.

"We’re really reaching middle income people in this community," he said, "but we’re going to look in the future for other projects that meet other affordability needs."


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