After 15 years, home renters take ownership

Eight rent-to-own houses at Rim Hill in Moab are set to be sold to their occupants 15 years after the project was initiated. The sales will mark a major milestone for one of many public affordable housing projects overseen by the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah.

The homes are each valued at between $300,000 and $400,000, according to Ben Riley, the executive director of the authority.

Each of the new homeowners will have an opportunity to realize the full value of the equity of their new home once their sales are finalized.

Not all of the occupants of the eight homes have lived on the properties for the full 15 years of their existence. Turnover has led residents to move in and out over the years, but the houses are not left empty for long. According to Riley, the properties are highly sought after and only go to households under a certain income level: those with 60% of average median incomes.

For residents who will soon purchase the eight properties on Madison Way and Van Buren Court, their share of the house’s equity is determined by how long they have lived in the home.

A resident who has only spent one year in a Rim Hill home could only realize 1/15th of the home’s equity were they to sell the house; HASU would own the other portion. This means that longtime residents of the properties, who over time will have paid monthly rent to the Authority that accrues into shares of the home’s ownership, will be rewarded for their investment and time spent in the home.