In light of developer Wayne Aston’s proposal to put affordable housing units on a piece of Grand County-owned property, the county has been looking into the idea of public-private partnerships for affordable housing.
“Instead of analyzing these on a case-by-case basis, we need to put ourselves in the driver’s seat,” said Grand County Vice Chair Curtis Wells at the county council’s May 15 meeting. “This resolution is to serve as a record of support for staff looking into those things and evaluating those opportunities.”
The resolution provides, “a short list of what we’ve done and some direction moving forward,” Wells said. It recognizes work done on the Moab Area Affordable Housing Plan, the county’s support for the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah, support for a community reinvestment area and support for a local land trust. It goes on to express county interest in evaluating the possibility of using publicly owned property for public-private partnerships to develop affordable housing
The council debated the wording of the resolution, with Council Member Jaylyn Hawks expressing that she would be more comfortable with a less strongly worded resolution. She took issue with several phrases.
Wells defended his word choices.
“This isn’t meant to bind us to a certain thing … staff has looked to me and asked, do we have consensus to evaluate these things, and so I want to give them clear consensus to work to evaluate this because it’s a real problem,” Wells said.
“Everything I’ve said does not take away from that mandate to staff,” Hawks responded.
Wells agreed to Hawks’ changes and the resolution was passed unanimously.