ARCH and the City of Hailey looking at a 'pilot' deed-restriction program
This new and innovative program seeks to support locally employed people by providing access to homeownership.
The first project in the pipeline for this funding is employee housing for the City of Bellevue
The Hailey City Council is considering partnering with the ARCH Community Housing Trust on a new “pilot” deed-restriction housing program, in which the city would maintain a small pool of housing units for sale or rental to local employees only.
The discussion begins tonight, Monday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m., as part of the city’s ongoing 2023-2024 budget deliberations, and comes as an outgrowth of several prior conversations between ARCH and Hailey staff.
According to the contract envisioned between ARCH and Hailey, a willing homeowner would sell their unit to ARCH at “slightly-below-market price,” and the city would spend roughly 15-20% of the home value to place a ‘Category L’ locals-only deed restriction on the unit. ARCH would then resell the deed-restricted unit at 80-85% of its original price to a qualified buyer, who would only be able to sell to qualified locals in the future.
For example, at 20%, a $380,000 townhome unit would require a $76,000 investment from the city, according to a staff report.
A “Category L” property does not have an income limit or maximum housing cost, according to Blaine County Housing Authority guidelines, though the draft agreement between Hailey and ARCH stipulates that applicants should live and work in Blaine County. To qualify as a “full-time local” applicant, households would need to have at least one adult who is employed by a Blaine County-based company or nonprofit and who physically works in the county for a minimum of 1,500 hours per year, or about 31 hours per week. Household members would also need to reside in the county for at least nine months out of the year, and members could not have any other residential property in the county under their name.
Some exceptions would include applicants “with temporary physical or mental disability,” those who are “acting as a primary caretaker of [an] ill relative,” those who are receiving “full-time education or training” or anyone on an “extended vacation not to exceed six months every six years,” according to the Blaine County Housing Authority.
The City Council will also discuss whether there should be a maximum asset limit on potential buyers if the city were to move ahead with the partnership.
“The Council should discuss the merits of this program as well as the concept of the asset limit,” a city staff report states.
The report notes that current programs in Hailey “provide rental and ‘for sale’ units on an income limited basis, but do nothing for necessary, higher earning professional workers.”
It poses a final question: “Should the new deed restriction program allow qualified purchasers and occupants to have unlimited assets, or limit qualification to only persons who have limited wealth?”
To tune into tonight’s conversation remotely, visit https://meet.goto.com/CityofHaileyCityCouncil or call 872-240-3311 and enter password 543-667-133. The one-touch phone number is tel:+18722403311,,543667133#.