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Land Owner/ Seller

I’d like to use this letter to tell you a little more about Moscow Affordable Housing Trust and how it creates affordable homeownership opportunities.


The Trust is an Idaho corporation and a 501.c.3 non-profit. Its goal it to create affordable homeownership opportunities. It was started in 2009, and hired me as its first Executive Director in 2014. Our funds are a mix of private philanthropy and grant support from Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA).  IHFA is a non-profit entity set up by the state to receive and manage Federal funds from Housing & Urban Development (HUD).


Because of our relationship with IHFA and its funding from HUD, we inherit a number of Federal rules and requirements. Among them, the word ‘affordable’ in our name is defined to mean households earning between 50%-80% of the Area Median Income. The US Census calculates those numbers; they change annually and vary by household size.


I find it easier to think about our buyers as households with a gross income about $30-50,000/year.  Our home buyers are members of the local workforce. They are households with a steady income, who pay their bills, have good credit, and can qualify for a bank loan. Our buyers may be your friends, neighbors, co-workers or employees. They will be required to occupy their home and, like other owners, are more likely to contribute positively to their neighborhood and city.


The Trust is required to sell houses at fair market value. There is no grant or charity to the buyer to reduce the price. One way we make a house affordable is by arranging additional loan financing to fill the gap between what a buyer can borrow and the market value of the house. A no-interest no-payment “second” loan comes from Idaho Housing and Finance Association to help fill the affordability ‘gap.’  


The Trust has no control over our buyer’s subsequent sale. When the owner wishes to sell, the second loan is paid off along with the primary mortgage. The owner is entitled to any profit from the property’s appreciation.


The Trust hopes to keep its properties affordable by making them a bit smaller. Our second project is a 2 bed/1 bath 1000 square foot house under construction at 306 Morton St. Our plans for your parcel use the City’s “townhouse” rules and would create 3 houses with two common walls. We are estimating the size about 1200-1300 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.


While a small house doesn’t fit every family’s needs, there are some who would like a starter home. The Trust does not depend on profit from the real estate transaction, so we believe we can work in the small house market niche. We hope to increase housing options without hurting the business of for-profit developers. The Trust also does not depend on volunteers. We seek bids from local contractors and businesses and hope to get fair price and that will let us do more business in the future.


One of our aspirations is to make our houses meet ADA guidelines and be energy efficient. This is over and above the rules IHFA imposes on us, but we think it’s important. Energy efficiency can save the owner money, which can increase the chance that they are successful paying their mortgage and remaining in the house.

Thanks for considering selling your property to us.
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