IVINS – Residents of the community Quail Cove in Ivins are protesting the construction of low-income housing within the walls of their neighborhood, claiming the program was instated without their permission.
Quail Cove was started in 2007 but subsequently abandoned by its developer, leaving eight finished homes alone among dozens of empty lots. Its residents are mainly retirees from northern Utah and other parts of the west, many of whom invested with the assumption that they would spend their later years in an upscale private community.
The proposed homes, four of which are now being built, are part of Color Country Community Housing’s Mutual Self Help Program. Conducted in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency, the program uses federal funds to purchase land that is considered rural in places such as Ivins, LaVerkin and Kanab. By providing “sweat equity,” or manual labor, families earning less than the median income for their area are given an opportunity to own a home they otherwise could not afford. It is estimated that the participants complete 65 percent of the construction themselves.
Quail Cove occupants said that not only have their property values decreased, but the height, design and landscaping of the CCCHI homes disobey the rules set forth in the restrictive covenants of their neighborhood. They claimed that the company currently in charge of the Quail Cove development, the Salt Lake City-based QC Development, LLC., gave permission for the new homes to be built without ever consulting any of the residents. And though they are frustrated and displeased with the situation, they stressed that they have nothing against the families expecting to move into their community.
“The program itself is wonderful and I believe every American should be given the chance to own their own home,” said Phil Hansen, a retired firefighter who moved into Quail Cove with his wife, Carolyn, a year ago. “But programs funded by people like us, who have worked and paid taxes their entire lives, should not allow a developer to come into an existing subdivision and buy lots, build new homes and devalue the property. The federal money needs to be monitored.”
Several of the residents have been picketing outside the community throughout the weekend, informing passersby that they could soon find themselves in a similar situation. They will also hold a rally Monday, April 30 at 5 p.m. at the corner of 400 West and 200 North to help raise public awareness.
Editorial note: This is a weekend developing story, it is anticipated that the sequel in progress will deliver other sides to the issues presented as those businesses and entities have representatives available to comment.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.