Local News

Housing Survey Produces a Few Surprises

July 17, 2012

By Michael Anthony Scerbo

The survey offered by International Housing Solutions of Tusayan  basically says  residents would like some housing options, but cost is a major challenge.

130 people were surveyed. 43% rent housing. 47% live in employer provided housing. 7% own their own home and 3% have no housing.

Of that group 44% said they wish to stay in their existing home.  24% would rent as long as the rent is $395 or less. 32% would like to own as long as the price for that home is under $91,417.

If Stilo were really concerned about housing it would have simply let the folks at Camper Village stay where they are at and build a few apartment complexes there.  For the 32% who want to own a home, just put up some townhomes at Camper Village and problem solved.

Instead, Stilo and its business partners pushed for incorporation, not because they wanted to provide housing for the working people of Tusayan. More than two years after incorporation, Stilo does not have any permanent home ownership plans on the table. Stilo has also sent out its own survey which once again asks for public support and touts the planned construction of six temporary housing units.

 In reality Stilo’s massive development plan would make Tusayan look like a scaled down Sedona instead of a small community that serves as the gateway to the Grand Canyon.  I used to work in Sedona.  Even without a break on rent, the cost of basic essentials is well beyond the means of the average working family.  This is what could happen to Tusayan.  

International Housing Solutions also says there would have to be little or no land costs with respect to single or multi-family housing which means all of the affordable housing in Tusayan would have to be located on the 40 acres Stilo has ‘donated’ to the town in exchange for a development agreement that will make the Italian developer and its partner Elling Halvorson millions of dollars.  I say ‘donated’ because the land is subject under reversion under the development agreement so the Town can’t really do anything with it for years to come.

Mayor Greg Bryan would also like to see a relationship between international Housing solutions and Stilo.

The consultants also advised that the Town form a Housing Authority to deal with affording housing. Council Craig Sanderson says Stilo should be part of that as well.

That makes life easy for Stilo because the Town is supposed to hold Stilo accountable for living up to its agreements in the development deal.