Members from the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah (HASU) hold a check that represents the community funds that have been awarded to HASU for affordable housing through the CROWN rent-to-own program in Grant County. From left to right: Robert Muir, executive director of HASU; Cathy Bonde, HASU board member; Judy Powers, HASU board member; Ben Riley development specialist and CROWN program manager for HASU; and Kelly Peterson, program anager for Utah Housing Corporation, which oversees the CROWN program. [Courtesy photo / HASU]

Five new homes are now available for low-income families to rent-to-own.

An open house was held Tuesday, Nov. 19 for CROWN homes (Credits-to-OWN) that have been built on Desert Wind Road.

Renters are able to earn equity with low monthly rent payments, of $611 to $694 a month, for homes with three and four bedrooms.

To participate in the CROWN program, households may not earn more than 59 percent of the area median income for Grand County, which is $34,043 for a family of four.

The homes are made available through the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah and the Utah Housing Corporation.

“We believe the CROWN rent-to-own program is very important in providing the opportunity for low income households in Grand County to become homeowners,” said Robert W. Muir, the executive director for the housing authority.

Selected tenants begin paying rent payments to build equity in the home. If they buy the home at the end of the 15-year rental period. When the home becomes available for purchase, tenants have the opportunity to buy the home for a price far below the market value.

“This has been a rewarding experience for Utah Housing to work together with American Express and the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah to bring quality home ownership options to hard-working households in Grand County,” said Grant Whitaker, president of Utah Housing. “CROWN offers an affordable opportunity for lower income households to get into a new home of their own.”

The CROWN program is made possible by federal tax credits awarded by the Utah Housing Corporation. American Express is the equity investor and is anticipated to fund approximately $652,500 toward the project. The equity funding is used to lower the project’s debt allowing the owner to charge lower rents. Utah Housing provided low interest financing to build the homes.

Home ownership program for low-income families

“We believe the CROWN Rent-to-own program is very important in providing the opportunity for low income households in Grand County to become homeowners.”   Robert Muir, HASU director