Utah lawmakers set aside millions more for homelessness and affordable housing efforts this year, though still short of what advocates had hoped for. In the final 48 hours of this year’s legislative session, lawmakers passed two major bills to fund new homeless shelters and address an affordable housing shortage.
Read More March 9, 2017
The previous model — unveiled by a similar cast of elected officials in September — called for four 150-bed homeless shelters in Salt Lake City that would be loosely tied to the phaseout of a 1,100-bed emergency shelter at 210 S. Rio Grande St. Under the new plan, Utah's capital city will house just two 200-bed shelters at 131 E. 700 South and 275 W. High Ave. Another shelter will now be sited outside city limits in Salt Lake County, and the Rio Grande shelter will have a "hard close date" of June 30, 2019, said House Speaker Greg Hughes. Nixed are planned Salt Lake City shelters at 653 E. Simpson Ave. and 648 W. 100 South. Salt Lake Tribune Deseret News Feb 24, 2017
News editors sometimes make a fundamental error when reporting on the drug-addicted and the homeless, treating the two as if they are one and the same. Reporters sometimes use the two terms interchangeably, causing the rest of us to fall into the same trap. As recently as this month, the two Salt Lake City dailies have ran stories that continue to do this, which is a disservice to those who suffer from addiction, those who are without a place to call home and the general population. Opinion Column by Stan Rosenzweig, Salt Lake City Weekly Feb 22, 2017
Image by: BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner
A lack of affordable housing in Northern Utah appears to be one reason behind long, late-night lines outside in the cold for temporary clients at the Lantern House homeless shelter. Read More Feb 20, 2017
The House voted Tuesday to stop most, but not all, Utah cities that now offer financial incentives to landlords who do not rent to people with criminal records — a practice that some see as contributing to the state's homelessness crisis.
Representatives passed HB178 by a 62-9 vote, sending it to the Senate. But it passed an amendment to exempt Ogden and West Valley City from the change. Read More Feb 14, 2017
UtahPolicy.com coverage by Bob Bernick Feb 14, 2017
State, county, and city leaders gathered, Thursday, to collaborate on several ongoing projects to improve 'Utah's unaffordable housing problem.' The group's main goal is to find ways to increase affordable housing opportunities across the state. They said the most important part is first getting the public on board, and that starts with dispelling a common misconception. View Story Feb 10, 2017
Affordable housing supporters rallied at the Capitol on Thursday in support of HB36, which proposes ramped-up income-tax credits for landlords. The legislation, estimated to cost $1.4 million per year in education funding, also would appropriate $6 million for affordable housing. The measure riffs off of a recent state report pegging Utah's housing shortage for extremely low-income renters at 38,000 units. Read More Feb 10, 2017
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who heads a state homeless coordinating committee, asked for $3.5 million this year to help Salt Lake City build four new homeless resource centers to help replace the large The Road Home shelter, and other efforts to eliminate barriers to those seeking crisis housing. Read More Feb 6, 2017
Last year was a record for the local housing market, with sales and prices reaching historic levels, according to a new report. But the impacts on the Wasatch Front market could be good and bad, an analyst said Friday. The state’s brisk population growth has created what appears to be a housing shortage, said Jim Wood, economist and senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Garner Policy Institute. Read More Feb 4, 2017
Good Landlord Program participants won’t be able to refuse rentals to individuals convicted of committing felonies within the past four years if a Salt Lake City democrat’s legislation is approved. Rep. Brian King is the sponsor of HB 178, which would make a simple change, specifying that municipalities may not require residential landlords to deny tenancy to individuals based on their criminal history. Read More Feb 2, 2017
HB 36, Affordable Housing Revisions. This bill is an important complement to the efforts underway to address the state-wide affordable housing crisis. In a state of just over 3 million, 30% of all Utahns are renters. Of those renters, 20% are extremely low income, defined as having an income of $20,000 for a family of three. For those low income renters, there is a gap of 38,447 units between what is needed and what is available. Read More Feb 1, 2017.
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After weeks of pointing to affordable housing as an integral piece to tackling Salt Lake City's homelessness challenges, Mayor Jackie Biskupski on Thursday rolled out her administration's comprehensive five-year plan. View the story, Feb 3, 2017
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council braced for public outcry Tuesday as they announced locations in Salt Lake City as the future sites of four 150-bed homeless shelters that also would serve as resource centers for their clients. They are: 653 E. Simpson Ave., 275 W. High Ave., 131 E. 700 South, 648 W. 100 South. Read More December 13, 2016
Murray, Utah — (KUTV) About 250 older residents at Winchester Park Estates, an over-55 mobile home park in Murray, just received a letter that the 57 acre park is up for sale. "I think it's a crying shame myself," said Mary Johnston. The 85-year-old widow moved to Winchester a few years ago, spending about $42,000 on a trailer and another $30,000 to fix it up. She said she moved to the park after her husband died and intended for the house to be the home in which she would live the rest of her life. View Story July 6, 2016
The Road Home's new annual report indicates triple-digit percentage increases in the numbers of families and single women served in fiscal year 2015 than a decade ago. The report says the nonprofit organization, which shelters, houses and provides case management to homeless people, served 7,216 individuals in fiscal year 2015, which included 679 families, 1,238 single women and 3,747 men. Read More July 10, 2016
The notion that homeless people are all drug addicts or mentally ill, officials say, is misguided. Nonetheless, a recent report from the Utah Foundation — a nonpartisan, nonprofit public-policy research group — states that 29 percent do suffer from mental illness and 23 percent are substance abusers. Read More July 11, 2016
A team of cyclists pedaled into St. George Thursday as part of a journey across the United States to promote affordable housing and do a service project on Friday. There are sweltering highs of 103 degrees in St. George, Utah, but that didn’t stop the team of 31 young adults from picking up rakes and shovels to beautify the Silver Reef area. Read More July 8, 2016
The Evolution of Low-Income Housing in L.A. March 2015
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