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ARCH project nets 2 new houses, with help from Hailey

By December 26, 2023January 8th, 2024News

Project allows local workers to receive 20% discount on buying a home

This fall, the city of Hailey and the nonprofit ARCH Community Housing Trust announced that they would be partnering in a program that uses city funds to offset some of the costs of home ownership. Now, ARCH is announcing that the first two purchases via this program have been conducted successfully.

“The Locals Only Ownership Program is an important step towards ensuring that housing in Hailey will be preserved for locals in perpetuity. The city of Hailey is grateful to ARCH for the continued partnership and innovation,” the city said in a news release last week.

In an interview in November, Hailey City Administrator Lisa Horowitz said the city will allocate between $100,000 and $250,000 to ARCH to oversee the program. Those funds will come out of the city’s approved $500,000 housing budget for fiscal year 2024. Those totals are based on current interest rates and available funding. These funds are used to record a zero-interest deferred second lien against the property, while also placing a permanent deed restriction on the home.

The plan then calls for qualified buyers to select either a home offered to the program at a below-market rate or a home currently listed for sale on the regular market. ARCH then uses the city’s funds to place a permanent deed restriction on the home, which costs about 20% of each home’s purchase price.

This guarantees that the homes can only be sold to buyers who also meet the program criteria as long as the home is bought and sold.

“The concept is that this ‘locals-only’ deed restriction allows any local worker to afford a home with a 20% discount off of the price of the home,” ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith said in an interview last month. “The program can work either by a current market-rate homeowner approaching ARCH with a willingness to sell below market, or by a buyer finding a home on the market which they could afford with the 20% discount.”

In exchange for accepting the 20% discount, the buyer of the home must be employed by a Blaine County-based company or nonprofit and physically work in the county for a minimum of 31 hours per week—or live with someone who does. Qualified buyers must also have total assets under $500,000, and can’t have other residential property in the county under their name. Any future buyer must also meet those same criteria.

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