Dominion Energy, lawmakers want to add fees to Utahns’ heating bills to fund new gas lines in rural communities
Utah residential customers could see their natural gas bills rise $3 to $7 a year under a proposal to subsidize rural communities that yearn for natural gas service.
These towns, including Kanab, Green River and Garden City, lack the customer base to justify construction of pipelines, which cost up to $1 million a mile, so the idea behind HB422, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel is to tap existing customers to help foot the bill, Dominion Energy executives told lawmakers Thursday. Read More Feb. 23, 2018
By now it's a baseline for many working in housing policy: costs associated with regulation mean delays in production, less supply, and higher prices for people that need housing. Yet it is something often challenged by those who suggest more money and subsidies are the solution to housing scarcity. The problem with that suggestion, however, is that even if we assumed that supply wouldn't reduce the higher prices associated with housing shortages, regulatory overreach would still mean subsidies for lower income people wouldn't go as far as they could. The Terner Center for Housing ... Read More Feb . 23, 2018
Even before Congress passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut in December, the demand for affordable rental housing far exceeded the supply. For every 100 renters who fit the federal government’s definition of “extremely low income,” only 35 units were available.
Congress offers some money for people who can't cover the full cost of rent, but that, too, is inadequate: A recent study found that federal housing assistance goes to fewer than one in five of those who qualify. Read More Feb. 21, 2018
A decade after the worst of the housing bust, and after years of well-above-average home value growth, the housing market has yet to emerge from the shadow of the Great Recession. And by most accounts home values will, for years to come, continue to be below what might have been. Read More Feb. 20, 2018
In our series Hive Mind, listeners ask questions about different topics and KUER reporters try to answer them. This week you asked-how much affordable housing is acceptable and who decides it?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development considers affordable housing to be units that cost families no more than 30 percent of their income. That’s figured by looking at the median income of a particular community. Read More Feb. 19, 2018
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has agreed to allow a rule that helps low-income families find housing go into effect after initially attempting to delay the new regulation.
HUD officials had tried to delay the rule for two years, but agreed to implement it after a judge ruled in favor of civil rights groups challenging the delay, according to a press release. Read More Feb. 20, 2018
"The health, education (and) economic opportunities that we see in Utah families are directly impacted by where they live," Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, said as he presented HJR6 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
"It is also clear that diversity creates stronger communities and provides Utahns with the best opportunity to achieve the American dream that we call home ownership," said Froerer, a Realtor. Read More Feb. 17, 2018
The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created anxiety about housing, since it reduced some of the benefits that homeowners enjoyed.
However, the impact from the new tax law is most severe for high-priced homes, which make up just a minority of the market.
A bigger issue for most homebuyers is that interest rates are on the rise. Or, at least, there's a growing consensus the era of being able to count on interest rates to stay low is nearing its end. For prospective homeowners, that means financing a mortgage could become more expensive over time. Read More Feb. 18, 2018
Home prices and rents are regularly hitting new all-time highs. The share of Americans who spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing is rising. Private sector home builders are catering to the high-end market, not low-income families. Read More Feb 13, 2018
An Idaho man is recovering from severe injuries at the University of Utah hospital after he was hit by a drunk driver but he now he faces an uncertain future.
Ray Hanson's life nearly ended on December 31st in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.
"New Year's Eve he was out on his bicycle and about 5 o'clock he was hit by a drunk driver," his brother in law Johnny Campbell explained. Read More Feb. 6, 2018
Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced today it has closed on a $100 million low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) fund as part of an ongoing effort to provide a reliable source of capital for affordable rental housing and underserved markets. The fund, which will be known as Raymond James Affordable Housing Fund 11 L.L.C., will be managed for Fannie Mae by its partner in the fund, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc. Read More Feb. 5th, 2018
Last week, I read an internal HUD draft bill that confirmed what many of us suspected: Secretary Carson is planning, through his FY19 budget request and accompanying legislation, to propose increasing rent burdens for all people in all HUD-subsidized homes. HUD will also propose allowing minimum work requirements of up to 32 hours a week for some subsidized housing residents. As homelessness increases and the housing crisis intensifies in communities across the country. . . Read More Feb. 5, 2018
Many of the worst effects of the tax bill President Trump signed in December could take years to emerge. But the damage to the federal tax credit program that finances nearly all affordable housing built in America is already painfully evident. Unless Congress rescues this crucial program, a quarter million fewer affordable units will be built over the next 10 years, deepening an already serious crisis. Read More Feb. 2, 2018
The Trump administration may introduce minimum work requirements for some recipients of housing aid, while raising rents for others, according to a document obtained by CityLab.
The document, labeled as draft rent reforms with input from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and agency lawyers, would be part of the government’s effort to bring a new conservative ethos to federal assistance. Read More Feb. 2, 2018
Mayor Jackie Biskupski is proposing a half-cent sales tax hike to pay for a wide variety of projects that need to be tackled, from crumbling roads to affordable housing and transit improvements.
In her annual State of the City address on Wednesday night, the mayor announced she would take the sales tax increase granted by the Utah State Legislature as a part of accepting the new state prison. Read More Jan. 31, 2018
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes have unveiled a new program to place people in affordable housing while receiving treatment for substance abuse.The sober living voucher program pays housing costs for eligible clients while they look for employment and get back on their feet. Read More Jan. 29, 2018
Today, NAFCU leadership meets with Treasury Counselor Craig Phillips to discuss housing finance reform. With both the House and Senate in session this week, NAFCU will continue to advocate that credit union regulatory relief bills be brought to the floor for votes. Read More Jan 29, 2018
Hope and Despair.
Those names were bestowed on two dogs — both Jack Russell and bluetick hound mixes — by a homeless woman called Thumper. Their monikers, she said, pretty much sum up life on the streets.
Thumper was huddled beneath a pile of blankets with her pups near Hidden Hollow in Sugar House on Thursday at 4:30 a.m. But the 39-year-old camper sat up to greet Charly Swett from the Volunteers of America (VOA), who was carrying a clipboard and a survey. Read More Jan. 27, 2018
Intergenerational poverty is a problem in Utah. A report last October showed that while childhood poverty in Utah was declining, intergenerational poverty continues to shackle families to low-income jobs and limited housing.
Intergenerational poverty is exactly what it sounds like – two or more generations stuck at low-income levels. Read More Jan. 26, 2018
Online real estate company Trulia has released the results of its "semi-regular" look at rental process around the United States, producing this tried and true conclusion: "The rent is too damn high." The pace at which rent is getting more than too damn high is the shocking part of Trulia's findings, however. Read More Jan. 25, 2018
When Chicago launched a massive plan in 2000 to overhaul all public housing in the city–knocking down high-rises like Cabrini-Green and slowly rebuilding new communities–residents resisted. They didn’t want to lose their homes, or the tight-knit communities that had formed over decades. But as the plan moved forward, they rallied around a new goal: to save one building to tell their stories and preserve local history. Read More Jan. 26, 2018
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) got off to a slow start under new secretary Ben Carson, but activity at the agency has picked up of late.
Earlier this year, it announced its intention to delay the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule because, according Carson, the local jurisdictions subject to the rule need more time and assistance to adapt to the numerous requirements it would impose on states, counties, and cities. Read More Jan. 26, 2018
A bill to extend family-planning services and birth control to about 11,000 low-income Utah women is gaining traction in the state Legislature.
Costs of the partial Medicaid expansion effort would be covered mostly by the federal government, under House Bill 12. And several Republican legislators on Wednesday said the measure would save taxpayers money longterm by preventing unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Read More Jan. 24, 2017
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today it is awarding $37 million to fight housing discrimination under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). These grants will support more than 150 national and local fair housing organizations working to confront violations of the Fair Housing Act. Read More Jan. 23, 2018
It’s becoming an all-too-familiar scene in Utah.
A homeowner places a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of their house, and quickly, the property is off the market, usually with multiple purchase offers.
A landlord places a ‘For Rent’ sign in the window and a lease has been signed within days, sometimes hours. Read More Jan. 23, 2018
Urban Land Institute - "Access to high quality, workforce housing in neighborhoods of choice remains a critical challenge in many U.S. communities. This is especially acute in high cost markets that need a greater supply of workforce housing near transit and employment centers. " October 3, 2015
2018 UHC End of Session Newsletter
UHC in the News
Member Highlight: The Inn Between
Memo to Members is NLIHC's weekly newsletter. It is read by everyone from housing advocates to reporters to members of the Administration and Congressional staff.
Utah's capital city is facing some challenges with affordable housing, aging roads and growth.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski stops by Inside Utah Politics to solutions to some of the challenges the city is currently facing.
One of the city's key focuses is the development and expansion of the Northwest quadrant.
"What we are envisioning is a mix of development. We won't have housing, but what we will have is small business, you might see a little hotel structure out there, but most of it will be bigger companies and some light manufacturing," Biskupski said. Read More Feb. 25, 2018
Utah’s residential real estate market has had a similar story over the past few years: dwindling inventory leading to increasing prices, along with continued growth in the multi-family sector. But Utah is projected to double its population by 2065. That unprecedented growth is expected to have an even larger impact on housing in communities—and those trends of the future are already starting to show up today. Read More Feb. 22, 2018
Funders for Housing and Opportunity, a $10 million collaborative, will invest in programs with the goal of ensuring individuals and families who spend more than half of their income on rent – or have no homes at all – can afford safe, stable rental housing. Read More Feb. 21, 2018
Documentary filmmaker Sally Shaum has spent a significant amount of time in Salt Lake County’s homeless shelters. She remembers filming at the Road Home's downtown Salt Lake City shelter — a location frequently in the news for its crime, drug use and law enforcement issues — and seeing homeless mothers with young children. Read More Feb. 21, 2018
Nearly half of patients who use the nation's network of community health centers reported having some type of current or past problem with maintaining a stable place to live, according to a new analysis.
Nearly half of more than 3,100 adult community health center patients surveyed between September 2014 and April 2015 had experienced housing instability, according to results published online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read More Feb. 20, 2018
This money will go to public housing authorities, public housing resident associations, Native American tribes and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. It will help these organizations hire or retain service coordinators who help residents find jobs, educational opportunities and help residents achieve economic and housing independence.
The funding is provided through HUD’s Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency – Service Coordinators Program. The service coordinators provide services such as connecting residents to job training and placement programs and computer and financial literacy services. Read More Feb. 20, 2017
The White House's Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal, released Monday, calls for work requirements for those who receive public housing subsidies and slashes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by $8.8 billion.
The budget outline also zeroes out the Public Housing Capital Fund, dedicated to rehabilitating and modernizing public housing developments, and eliminates the Community Development Block Grant which local governments can use at their discretion to address a variety of community and infrastructure needs. Read More Feb. 14, 2018
A Centerville-based developer is considering a 79-unit housing development in the Shadow Valley area geared to moderate- and higher-income tenants.
JF Capital has proposed a 23-structure development at the 9.7-acre site of the former Intermountain Behavioral Health Institute in the 5000 block of Harrison Boulevard in southern Ogden... Read More Feb. 12, 2018
The heat in your apartment has been shut off for eight weeks because of a carbon monoxide leak. You have a space heater, but it blows the fuse if you use the toaster. And your landlord has stopped answering your calls.
What can you do? Not much, thanks to Utah laws that favor landlords over tenants. Read More Feb. 7, 2018
People who are desperately looking for work are getting some help in Salt Lake City. City leaders and others are currently in the middle of the pilot training program to help people get back on their feet. Lara Fritts, Director of Salt Lake City Economic Development, and Zac Pau'u, Deputy Director of the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, joined Brian Carlson to explain how it works. Read More Feb. 8, 2018
Habitat for Humanity of Utah County is the local branch of Habitat for Humanity International. It is locally-run and operated specifically to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities in Utah.
Though ensuring affordable housing for everyone is the main mission, the organization also works to enhance communities, help with critical home repairs and perform home and neighborhood beautification projects. Innumerable lives have been improved due to their efforts. Read More Feb. 4th, 2018
As the reality of normalizing monetary policy increases, Utah may feel the impact of rising interest rates and should ensure that its infrastructure investments are on a healthy timetable for completion.
The World Economic Forum convened last week in Davos, Switzerland, where the sensitivity of world financial markets was on full display as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comment about a weak dollar spurred speculation regarding the rate of monetary policy normalization in the U.S., sending currency markets into a frenzy for several days. Read More Feb. 2, 2018
House moves forward with bill that would scatter halfway houses across Utah, despite opposition from Corrections leaders
The opposition of top brass at the Department of Corrections wasn’t enough to stop lawmakers on a House committee from advancing a bill that would scatter halfway houses across Utah.
The bill would set a cap on the number of people in halfway houses across Utah in an attempt to shift the burden of housing parolees from Salt Lake and Weber counties throughout the rest of the state. Read More Jan. 31, 2017
Housing first approach for area homeless? Housing resource manager says it’s cheaper in the long run
Nevada County housing resource manager Brendan Phillips continues to take the reins from his father, Utah Phillips, in working towards housing Nevada County's homeless people.
On Saturday, Brendan Phillips was the guest speaker in the first of two public forums dedicated to addressing Nevada County's homeless, and what can be done to help them. Read More Jan. 28, 2018
The economic boom in North Texas is pushing up apartment rents so high that poor people are having a hard time finding affordable homes – even with government assistance, experts say.
"There are so many people who are moving to North Texas who are competing with our voucher holders that many of the voucher holders just can't find a unit," said Selarstean Mitchell, vice president of assisted housing for Fort Worth Housing Solutions. "The rental market right now is so tight." Read More Jan. 26, 2018
Stories of people disappearing from their homes and neighborhoods sound like a sci-fi horror movie or a banner headline on a grocery store tabloid. But a real threat to knowing just how many Utahns live in our state seriously looms on the horizon.
The 2020 Census is just around the corner, and we are not ready. Read More Jan. 27, 2018
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a top-to-bottom review of its manufactured housing rules as part of a broader effort to identify regulations that may be ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly given the critical need for affordable housing. For the next 30 days, HUD is accepting public comments to identify existing or planned manufactured housing regulatory actions to assess their actual and potential compliance costs and whether those costs are justified against the backdrop of the nation's shortage of affordable housing. Read HUD's notice
Read More Jan. 25, 2018
Ten years ago the economy broke. Today, America is a much different place, not just economically, but politically and culturally. This year, Marketplace will explore how the financial crisis and its aftermath changed us in a project called Divided Decade. Read More Jan. 25, 2018
Just off State Street, a shuttered thrift store on 700 South is nearly hidden from street view behind a graffitied screen that's fastened to a chain-link fence. Peek over the barrier or through a gap, and you can see the parking lot. Along its western edge, a row of makeshift tents have cropped up. Another tent consisting of blue blankets and tarps hangs tenuously from a metal gate on the opposite side. Read More Jan. 24, 2018
Mayors across the United States say that housing costs are the biggest reason that people are moving away from cities, according to a new survey released Tuesday. According to the Menino Survey of Mayors, 51 percent of leaders in 115 cities said housing affordability is the most common reason that people move away from cities, followed by jobs, schools and public safety concerns. Read More Jan. 24, 2018
Without a plan to address the projected 1.5 million additional residents who will live in Utah by 2050, the future may look something like this: worsened air quality, increased traffic congestion and a continued lack of affordable housing. Read More Jan. 23, 2018
The Republican tax bill’s reduced corporate tax rate is a boon for many companies. But reducing the corporate rate lowers the value of tax credits and may negatively affect businesses that rely on them. The New York Times recently described one such case and argued that the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) would fall and the supply of affordable housing would fall along with it. Read More Jan. 22, 2018
Struggling to pay rent each month can have a negative effect on adult's and children's health. Researchers examined the housing status of more than 22,000 low-income renter families over a 5 ½-year period. Specifically, they asked caregivers questions about their family's housing stability Read More Jan. 22, 2018
The Evolution of Low-Income Housing in L.A. March 2015