Park City Lite-Deed housing program seeks pilot renewal for upcoming year

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City’s Live Park City Lite-Deed pilot program, initiated in 2022 to address housing challenges, is up for renewal and will be on the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting.

Developed in collaboration with the City Council, the program aimed to alleviate strains from nightly rentals and bolster community residency by purchasing deed restrictions on residential properties.

Since its launch, and with a $1 million budget, in 18 months it acquired two deed restrictions, with a third pending approval. Property owners received an average compensation of $200,000, enabling them to purchase homes or undertake crucial upgrades.

However, the program faced hurdles, including high interest rates and stringent eligibility criteria, leading to adjustments in the application process. Despite this, 19 applications were received from Nov. 2022 to Jan. 2024, highlighting its relevance.

The Advisory Committee recommended offers for 11 properties while denying 8, citing concerns over employment requirements and compensation adequacy. Participants emphasized the need for a more flexible approach and enhanced compensation.

After outreach to other lite-deed programs in Summit County, CO and Vail, CO, and Breckenridge, CO, during the last 18 months, the towns confirmed the initial growing pains of the program. According to the staff report:

“Both Vail and Summit County explained that the first years of their programs was similar to what Park City experienced—it took some time for  participants to understand the program’s requirements and whether it would be a good fit for them and to fine-tune program administration. However, demand took off in the subsequent 2-3 years once the first few properties demonstrated how to participate. Vail currently makes an annual contribution of $3 million to their lite deed program, and Summit County makes a yearly contribution of $2.5 million.”

The Housing Team is recommending to City Council that the program be renewed as a pilot program and bring the funding back to a $1 million balance from the existing housing fund, which is thought to sustain the program for the next few years.

Looking ahead, the Housing Team is considering several avenues for the program’s evolution, including exploring partnerships with Summit County and modifying eligibility criteria.

The City Council meeting will take place Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. with a work session at 3:45 p.m.  The Lite-Deed discussion will include a public input session. To watch the City Council meeting via zoom, click here.

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