Heber housing development resumes construction and adds homes at market price

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Near the Heber Valley Railroad off South Field Road, Parkview Place was to be 49 affordable housing units for local workers. But the promoter says financial difficulties are forcing him to sell some of them now at market rates.

The Mountainlands Community Housing Trust is the developer. It is a non-profit organization whose mission includes building affordable homes.

Mountainlands executive director Pat Matheson said the nonprofit will prioritize certain segments of the workforce.

“It will be people who work in the Heber Valley with a preference for, in a way, our population of community builders, if you will: teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, etc.” he said.

Deed restrictions are legally binding agreements on how homes can be sold. This is what Mountainlands will use to keep the prices of these homes low. The deed restrictions should also prohibit the rental of homes once they are sold.

Matheson said the building has been on hold for months this year due to issues exacerbated by COVID-19, supply chain issues and labor shortages. He also said costs have increased since construction began in 2019.

Now the construction of the first 14 houses has resumed.

Matheson hopes selling some homes at market price will offset the cost of offering others at much lower prices.

“We are very committed to continuing to deliver the vast, vast majority of homes to local buyers working in the Heber Valley at or near the original sale price,” he said.

Matheson said he did not have an estimate of how many of the 49 homes would sell at market price.

Other strategies, he said, that Mountainlands is pursuing to complete the project and reduce costs include hiring new contractors and designers and building faster.

The original agreement with Heber City was to build in phases, about a dozen homes at a time. But Matheson said with building costs steadily rising and the “desperate” need for housing in the valley, the new plan is to build all the remaining homes as quickly as possible.

“We hear people all the time, they say, ‘Listen, I can’t live here anymore – I have to move to the [Provo Valley]”, he said. “And first, they keep their jobs in the Heber Valley, but eventually the drive to Provo Canyon starts to wear them down and they take jobs elsewhere. And we see it particularly with teachers and first responders and others who are, you know, sort of the most critical to our day-to-day lives.

Mountainlands has already sold three of the lots with deed restrictions.

To learn more about the Parkview Place development, click here.

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