Legacy Homes Program - Effective July 3, 2019

This page is under construction...

WHAT IS THE LEGACY HOMES PROGRAM?

A program implemented as a result of the recommendations in the 2017 Strategic Housing Plan; intended to provide new housing in Whitefish that is affordable to people with moderate incomes who work here. The program includes both rental and home ownership opportunities; homes will be spread around the community.

At the June 3, 2019 City Council meeting, the Whitefish City Council adopted new zoning regulations requiring a minimum of 20% of all new residential development be dedicated for long term affordability for working people of Whitefish. This type of zoning is called Inclusionary Zoning and its adoption created the Whitefish Legacy Homes Program; the new regulations went into effect on July 3, 2019. 

WHY IS IT NEEDED?

A 2016 Housing Needs Assessment identified that 980 new housing units are needed in Whitefish by 2020; 605 of those (or 62%) need to be priced below market rate to: 1) ensure the people who work in Whitefish and want to live here can and 2) help local businesses attract and retain employees.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEVELOPERS?

All residential projects including subdivisions with more than 2 lots, conditional use permits (CUP), or planned unit developments (PUD) must comply with the Legacy Homes Program.  The applicant must submit a Housing Mitigation Plan describing how the project will comply with the regulations. As an example, a proposed 10-unit single-family home subdivision must have 20%, or 2 of the homes deed restricted for purchase and ownership by households qualifying through the Legacy Homes Program. A 36-unit apartment project must have 20%, or 7 of the apartments deed restricted for households qualifying through the Legacy Homes Program and pay a fee in lieu of the fractional unit required (36 x 0.20 = 7.2 units; the fee would be for the 0.2 units not constructed).

To help off-set the cost to developers of deed restricting 20% of residential projects for below-market pricing, the City is offering incentives, incremental reductions in some development standards. Using the example of the 36 apartments, the density of the development could be increased by up to 20% over what the underlying zoning allows.

Instead of building 36 apartments, 7 of which are deed restricted, the project could include 43 apartments, 8 of which would be deed restricted (plus a fee paid for the 0.6 fraction of a unit required, 43 x 0.20 = 8.6 units). This would increase the number of apartments the developer could rent at market rate (35 apartments instead of 29 without the density bonus), thus helping offset the cost of renting the 8 Legacy apartments at a reduced rate.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RENT OR BUY A LEGACY HOME?

The Whitefish Housing Authority (WHA) will guide you through the application process and determine your eligibility to rent or buy a Legacy Home. Eligibility is based on adjusted gross income for a household and employment in the Whitefish area. Priority may be given to households with incomes most closely matching the prices of available units. Eligible applicants will still need to meet the criteria of the property manager for leases and a financial lending institution for purchasing. As a start to determining if you might be eligible:

Step 1 List the number of adults and children (all household members) that will occupy a Legacy Home

Step 2 Determine each household member’s income by using the Adjusted Gross Income from your 1040 Federal Tax Return and add together to determine total household income

Step 3 Review the chart below and determine whether total household income is greater or less than the income of a family of the same size earning 150% Area Median Income (AMI) for ownership or 100% AMI for rentals

Step 4 If household income is less than 100% AMI, you can apply to rent a Legacy home; if household income is 80.1 – 150% AMI, you can apply to purchase a Legacy home.

AREA MEDIAN INCOME (AMI) FOR 2019*

Percent of AMI

1 Person

2 People

3 People

4 People

60%

$29,280

$33,420

$37,620

$41,760

80%

$39,040

$44,560

$50,160

$55,680

100%

$48,800

$55,700

$62,700

$69,600

120%

$58,560

$66,840

$75,240

$83,520

150%

$73,200

$83,550

$94,050

$104,400

*AMI is updated annually by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; these numbers will change accordingly.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO RENT A LEGACY HOME?

RENTAL PRICING (2019* AMI)

# BEDROOMS

AVERAGE (70% AMI)

RANGE (60 - 80% AMI)

1

$914

$784- $1,045

2

$1,097

$941 - $1,254

3

$1,267

$1,086 - $1,448

*AMI is updated annually by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; these numbers will change accordingly.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO BUY A LEGACY HOME?

OWNERSHIP PRICING (2019* AMI)

# BEDROOMS

AVERAGE (100% AMI)

RANGE (80 - 120% AMI)

1

$183,734

$154,987 – $232,481

2

$219,503

$175,603 - $263,404

3

$245,273

$196,218 - $294,327

*AMI is updated annually by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; these numbers will change accordingly.

WHEN WILL LEGACY HOMES BE AVAILABLE TO RENT OR PURCHASE?

The rate of Legacy Home production is dependent on the rate of residential development projects in the City of Whitefish. Applications for subdivisions, CUPs and PUDs submitted and complete after July 3, 2019 must include a Housing Mitigation Plan describing how the project will comply with the Legacy Homes Program. Approval of these applications can take several months, after which a building permit must be obtained. It is not expected any new Legacy Homes will be completed before 2021. Workforce housing approved before creation of the Legacy Homes Program includes 58 single-family homes in the Trail View project on Monegan Road and the 38-unit Alpenglow Apartments on Edgewood Drive (to be available in December 2020). 

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

Stop by City Hall or call 863-2410 to talk with a Planner. The Whitefish Planning Department is coordinating administration of the Legacy Homes Program with the Whitefish Housing Authority. Visit the WHA website, call 862-4143, or email wfhousing@cityofwhitefish.org to learn more about the application process and to get qualified to rent or buy a Legacy Home.