Land trust creating housing solutions
Arroyo could see 240 units
May 17, 2018 | 4486 views | 0 0 comments | 111 111 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Audrey Graham, Jon McKay, Liz Dana, Kaitlin Myers and Rani Derasary stand on a property on South Spanish Valley Drive where affordable housing is slated for construction.                            Courtesy photo
Audrey Graham, Jon McKay, Liz Dana, Kaitlin Myers and Rani Derasary stand on a property on South Spanish Valley Drive where affordable housing is slated for construction. Courtesy photo
After six years of laying groundwork, the Moab Area Community Land Trust is ready to build housing in the community. The trust recently received a 32-acre land donation on Spanish Valley Drive formerly known in the community as “Arroyo Crossing.” A May 14 press release from the trust states the group will develop approximately 240 new housing units for Moab’s workforce, creating new homeownership and rental opportunities for local residents.

All units will be for sale or rent, but the land will be held by the trust.

“This takes the cost of land out of the equation, and property is what has become so unaffordable in this area. Upon resale, homeowners will be able to make a fair profit, but not a killing,“ said trust board chair Audrey Graham.

MACLT is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure permanently affordable housing opportunities for families in Moab, Grand County and northern San Juan County. According to Kaitlin Myers, trust vice-chair, “[Trusts] acquire parcels of both developed and undeveloped land and hold them in trust with land leases and deed restrictions; they maintain attainable housing options in perpetuity, regardless of who or how many people own or rent the houses over time.”

The project will consist of single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and other housing options for residents who make up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income, which, according to HUD this year, is $62,400. Fifty percent will be under 80 percent AMI, which is around $42,000 for a family of four.

“These land trusts are such an exciting housing tool because the initial donation keeps on giving in perpetuity; homes may not be “flipped” or used as overnight rentals and MACLT will restrict rental and ownership to primary residents of our community,” said board member and Moab City Council Member Rani Derasary.

Each unit in the development will have a renewable 99-year ground lease to control the rate at which the housing price increases, keeping the units permanently affordable over time. Liz Dana, the trust’s secretary, adds, “This ground lease protects the homes from experiencing the extreme rise in housing costs typically seen in a tourist-driven economy.”

According to Graham, when the project goes out to bid, the board will be looking for developers to submit proposals that prioritize affordability, quality, locality and energy efficiency of units.

To learn more or inquire about housing opportunities at the development, visit

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