CENTERVILLE Middle-income Americans are demanding more affordable housing that's located closer to work and their city's center, said Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"A great metro region has to have housing of all income types," said Cisneros, who was HUD secretary from 1993-1997. Cisneros spoke today at a grand opening of Pineae Gardens, a housing development in which Cisneros' company invested.
The developmen promises to be energy efficient, in the center of town, close to freeway access and affordable.
Cisneros' company, CityView, invests in the "new urbanism" architectural concept that embraces small, affordable and "green" houses in walkable neighborhoods. CityView is managing a $800 million fund that started in 2003 and has built about 7,000 homes so far, including the condos, town homes and stand-alone houses in Pineae Gardens, constructed by Taylorsville contractor Gold Medallion.
The 227 condos in Pineae Gardens, named after the nursery which used to be located on the property at 650 N. Main St., sell for $169,000 and are about 1,400 square feet. Single-family homes cost up to $300,000. The houses meet the energy-efficiency standards of Rocky Mountain Power's Energy Star program, and owners are expecting to save 30 percent to 60 percent on energy bills.
Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach, and with $4 a gallon gas, people are fed up with commuting, Cisneros said."The backbone of this country is the middle class," Cisneros said. "The way people become middle class is home ownership."