A chat with Tim Fluetsch of Dawson Holdings Inc. 

Vice president of acquisitions and a low-income affordable-housing developer in the Western United States

Pin It
Favorite
news_fivespot1-1-f984757befb4f93d.jpg

How can somebody apply the capitalist business skills and philosophy he has acquired through an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, while maintaining his Boston-bred progressive values to help alleviate homelessness and improve the daily lives of the poor, many of whom live today in substandard housing? Sandy resident Tim Fluetsch has found the path. Fluetsch is vice president of acquisitions and is a low-income affordable-housing developer in the Western United States for Dawson Holdings Inc.

How did you find you way into the for-profit world of low-income, affordable housing?
Around 18 years ago, I was working for a Boston company where business was slow, so my boss sent me out to find something new to do. I found a market-maker in low-income housing tax credits. We worked with them for a while, and then I decided that I would rather move from the financial side to the developer side, concentrating on affordable housing.

What is the value proposition for being able to keep rental rates down and stay in business?
It's not easy. We leverage subsidies, tax credits and other assistance programs. We lower operating costs through energy-efficient construction and design, and we reduce long-term capital costs. That allows us to make it work with enough income to support our operations.

How are you better for the community than nonprofits in the affordable-housing space?
We do similar things as many nonprofits that also have to support staff, structure and overhead. We work with nonprofits like senior-citizens groups and property developers. When there is a mutual need, we work together on projects, and we have in-house expertise. We encourage nonprofits to engage with us.

How did it work out for you?
We have grown and have developed more than 5,500 units of family housing throughout California, Arizona, Texas, Montana and we are just starting here in Utah. We have found a niche to enable us to expand creativity and lower the bottom line to bring the best possible housing experience at a price people can afford. We are heavily into rehabilitating substandard structures. Our goal is to make them livable and affordable.

What does it take to rehab a Salt Lake County property to make it affordable?
We look for good value-added opportunities, property that we can buy at a price that will enable us to make the property much better. Right now, it's a tough time for us to buy. We need [financial] room to be able to give up rent, but be every bit as functional and desirable as you would want your kids to live in. We strive to provide a property you can tell your mother, "I own that."

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

About The Author

Stan Rosenzweig

More by Stan Rosenzweig

  • Q&A with Pepa Taufui

    It wasn't easy, but these thankful transplants have shown how important immigration can be to the growth of a kinder Utah, and America.
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • Q&A with Cree McNulty

    How did you get from being a high school drop out to becoming gainfully employed and nearing completion of your BA?
    • Oct 19, 2016
  • Solving Homelessness

    For the city and county mayors, the problem is the ugly visual reminder on our streets that many citizens cannot afford a place to live.
    • Oct 5, 2016
  • More »

Latest in 5 Spot

  • Q & A with Edward Scott

    The 70-year-old professional Santa is racking up the miles this season as he visits homes, company parties and other gigs.
    • Dec 7, 2016
  • Q&A with Pepa Taufui

    It wasn't easy, but these thankful transplants have shown how important immigration can be to the growth of a kinder Utah, and America.
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • Q & A with the Grassroots Shakespeare Company

    Dave Mortensen, director of development for the company, recently spoke with City Weekly at Salt Lake City's downtown library before a casting meeting.
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Q&A with Pepa Taufui

    It wasn't easy, but these thankful transplants have shown how important immigration can be to the growth of a kinder Utah, and America.
    • Nov 30, 2016
  • Artist Shae Petersen

    "SRIL" straddles the line between graffiti artist and street artist
    • Apr 29, 2015

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation