Housing QnA: Developer David O’Neil | SummitDaily.com

Housing QnA: Developer David O’Neil

You can search our web page, http://www.poplarhouse.com, and I doubt you’ll find the words affordable or attainable. That’s because our goal is to create a traditional neighborhood with a sense of community and place. To achieve “sense of community,” a neighborhood needs real people ” high quality, full-time residents.

And, to create a neighborhood full of real people, a large percentage of the homes must be limited to locals and the price of the homes needs to be tied to local incomes.

So, from our perspective the key is real people and the connection between home prices and local incomes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined the Area Median Income for a Summit County four person household is $81,300. As a practical matter, most of our deed restricted homes have been purchased by households earning between 80 percent to 120 percent of that number.

Definitions are helpful; however, words need to be placed into a context. Here is the important context: In a normally functioning residential real estate market (at least before the sub prime debacle), there is a direct connection between local incomes and local home prices. Local incomes go up, local home prices go up. Local incomes go down, local home prices go down. In a resort community, however, that connection between local incomes and local home prices is lost.

Outsider and second home owner incomes, perhaps 5 or 10 times greater than the local incomes, determine the value of local homes. So, one can talk about affordable or attainable housing; however, the critical factor is redefining, limiting, a significant portion of the resort community home market to locals only.

Once that is done, then the connection between local incomes and local home prices can be restored and, whatever you call it, locals can purchase homes with local incomes.


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