Local News

Tusayan Housing Authority: Low Income Workers Not The Focus

May 8, 2016

 Tusayan’s newly formed Housing Authority is unlike most other housing authorities in the country because it’s not targeting for those in financial need. Low income residents are not the focus. Rather the authority seems to favor managers and supervisors and those with means to buy a home as opposed to the financial need.

The household income limit is $250,000 a year. A person’s assets could not exceed four times the purchase price for a home. In more simple terms someone wanting to buy a $200,000 home through the authority could have no more than $800,000 in assets. 

Housekeepers, gardeners, maintenance workers, store clerks would have no advantage over their bosses when it comes to affordable housing. In fact, they would be at a disadvantage because they often don’t have the income for a home purchase.

The town is also setting up a foundation which would provide some help for those whose incomes would not normally allow then to spend six figures for a home. It’s unclear just how many people that would help.

Barring generous financial assistance, most of the people who would be able to afford a typical home would be supervisors and managers.

Mayor Craig Sanderson has stressed that the focus is affordable housing.  Sanderson said, “It’s the people that have been here and have survived here and worked their way up and they have been rewarded with raises and increases in income. Why should we exclude them?”

The Housing Authority makes no provisions for large scale rental housing. However it does outline renting out rooms or homes purchased under the housing authority.

Here is a link to the Authority rules.

Priority will be given to those who have lived in and worked in Tusayan as well as people who used to live and or work in Tusayan but have retired. 

Current members of the Town Council are not eligible to receive a home through the housing authority. However former members of the council can receive such housing.

Ironically, the housing challenges in Tusayan have been made worse by the Stilo development project. In approving the project, the council changed zoning in Camper Village to allow for commercial development. Camper Village, with easy access to highway 64, is an ideal place for residential housing.

However absentee landlord Elling Halvorson has opted to keep aging trailers on the site for his employees instead of providing quality housing as Red feather properties, Ann Wren, and other employers have done.

If Stilo and Halvorson were serious about employee housing, they have it within their power to do so at Camper Village.