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home : opinions : opinions May 25, 2016

1/31/2012 2:58:00 PM
Letter: Halvorson proposes housing program

Dear citizens of Tusayan:

Some of you know me personally, but most of you have only heard of me or seen me occasionally probably serving salmon at the traditional Halvorson barbecue.

It is a rare occasion that I write a letter to you, the community, but at this time I see the most hopeful opportunities for the future of Tusayan and its residents that I have e ever see n in the 50 years I have been involved n Tusayan. With that future in reach, I want to share my thoughts.

For years, Barbara and I have been deeply, personally committed to the fact that there should be more opportunity for the individual citizen of Tusayan. Tusayan, for the past 50 years, has been a total company-owned community. During that period of time, there has been little significant change in opportunity for the average citizen. Fifty years ago, people lost their homes when they lost their hob or retired and the same is still true today. On top of that, living standards over this period of time have seen little change. I see no opportunities of the future for improvement of these situations except for the bold actions that the Tusayan Town Council has taken with annexation and rezoning. Everyone in Tusayan should be proud and happy for the actions of your town council. Their approval of the development agreement for annexation and rezoning can bring each person in Tusayan an opportunity for a brighter future. That opportunity may be:

1. To own a home,

2. To have more year-round em-ployment,

3. To have increased salaries, and/or

4. To own a business.

It is my understanding that the Farm Home Administration has a home financing program that is designed for small communities like Tusayan. Their loan rates are extremely low and the terms are very liberal. At the present time, I understand that the loan rate is 1.5 percent with small down payments.

For years, my wife Barbara and I have had a passion to assist deserving locals with down payments for housing. We realize that the income levels in the past have been marginally low and difficult for people to create savings.

We are therefore committed to deposit $250,000 into an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the citizens of Tusayan who are not presently landowners.

After the election, a committee will be formed to establish the terms of the program. The only condition that Barbara and I have is that opportunity for this gifting is open to all qualified people in Tusayan who are working in the town for at least three years regardless of where they have worked or who they have worked for.

On May 15, each of you will have the opportunity to vote to support the acts of your town council on the annexation and rezoning which will enable the opportunities I have discussed here.

When the council's actions are supported by the voters, I will form a non-profit entity called "Tusayan Housing Alliance." A random management committee will be selected hopefully by people of all walks of life and businesses to establish the program.

Their mission will be to assist residents in securing a grant and help them procure a new home with no strings attached.

There is much more to be said on this subject than I can share in this letter. I have there fore set aside the evening of Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. as a town-hall type event in the large top floor room of the Squire Inn. At that time, you can meet me and my wife Barbara. You may ask me any question you wish and I will answer it with truth and accuracy. There are no dumb or embarrassing questions.

Remember Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and dessert and coffee will be served.

Our goal is to see all of the people and all of the businesses in the Tusayan area thrive.

Yours very truly,

Elling and Barbara Halvorson

Kirkland, Wash.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: Nature Lover

How will you be able to afford houses priced in the millions on land that the Fat Cat's own, when their buddies have no problem shelling out and then some. I have lived and worked in Tusayan for pretty much the minimum allowed by law in company housing that they price (rent) as they see fit. Read it profits them. I was just a working slave paid just enough to survive but not enough to save and leave. I was lucky to find another job with much better pay in Phx. What a difference, I can now save, not be worked to death, and buy a house. They know the locals are wising up now. Why do you think they have all the foreign students on J1 visas from China working in the hotels? They don't have to pay benefits, pay as little as possible, and treat them like slaves and they have no recourse. That's right! The corporations up there don't want to pay the costs associated with American labor. Remember the first and most important rule for any business is make a profit, the more the better, anyway they can, ethics if detracts from the bottom line is ignored.

Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Article comment by: jane doe

Yeah....dream on....most of these families AGAINST.. actually have not 1,not 2....but 3 homes here in Tusayan!!!! Can you imagine???? And to begrudge the employees here who work their butts off here for years and years ...who have had to squeeze themselves and their loved ones in tiny disgusting trailers/hotel rooms...who have had to live sometimes at the whims of their employers...enough is enough.....NOTHING has been done to help any employees have an oppurtunity to not only work here but have an actual HOME in Tusayan since I first came here in 1985......thats 27 years ago....!!!!! The haves have more and the have nots have less....this community would not be here if not for the hard working folk...they deserve a real home!! and while I do applaud the Halvorsens proposal...I really do......it something that should have been done yaers ago.....

Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Article comment by: B. B.

This is just another example of rich out of towners trying to buy us off. If they really cared about private housing then that's all that would be allowed in the re-zoning. But the rich are throwing us a bone. We approve their build up plans and we get a few homes to buy. In the meantime, our little village on the Grand Canyon gets converted to Atlantic City or a mini Vegas. Some trade off.

Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Article comment by: John smith

It would sure be nice if this progam comes to reality and the rich familys up here like the Thurston step up to help us out in a similar way

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