Local News

Elling Halvorson’s Offer To Help Working Families In Tusayan Seems To Have Faded

December 12, 2012

By Mike Scerbo

Residents have been asking when or if Elling Halvorson will make good on his promise to contribute $250,000 for low income housing in Tusayan. Halvorson made that promise if Tusayan voters approved the Stilo development plan at the ballot box. Halvorson is Stilo’s business partner.

Here is a portion of a letter he wrote to the Grand Canyon News on January 31, 2012

“We are therefore committed to deposit $250,000 into an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the citizens of Tusayan who are not presently landowners.

After the election, a committee will be formed to establish the terms of the program. The only condition that Barbara and I have is that opportunity for this gifting is open to all qualified people in Tusayan who are working in the town for at least three years regardless of where they have worked or who they have worked for.”

Days later, Halvorson held a town hall to promote his proposal as the May election neared. Weeks later, Stilo’s legal team found a loophole and prevented voters from casing ballots on the development plan that was approved by the Town Council. There was no election, and Halvorson got the outcome he demanded.Here is another portion of the halvorson letter:

On May 15, each of you will have the opportunity to vote to support the acts of your town council on the annexation and rezoning which will enable the opportunities I have discussed here.

When the council's actions are supported by the voters, I will form a non-profit entity called "Tusayan Housing Alliance." A random management committee will be selected hopefully by people of all walks of life and businesses to establish the program.

Their mission will be to assist residents in securing a grant and help them procure a new home with no strings attached.”

Halvorson’s promise of funds for low income housing faded after his legal team successfully cancelled the public vote on the development plan.

 In recent months, Stilo promoted government assisted loans to help residents seeking low income housing in Tusayan. Again Stilo was simply promoting government assistance, not offering any of its own funds. Halvorson was absent from that conversation despite his prior pledge.

Additionally, during the recent Town Council elections, the Halvorson offer was not mentioned. The City Council has also failed to addresses this issue publicly.