FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2016
Contact: Dan Weist or Molly Farmer,
Council Communications, 801 535-7600
In an unprecedented effort to boost the City’s affordable housing stock, the Salt Lake City Council acting as the Redevelopment Agency Board of Salt Lake voted Tuesday to make up to $21 million available for housing opportunities at a variety of income levels. Additionally, the Board identified more than $11.5 million to purchase sites for homeless resource centers, which have yet to be selected.
“This is an investment in the long-term viability and economic health of our City,” said Board Member Derek Kitchen. “And this is just the beginning.”
The Board identified the funding from the current budget and past years leftover funds. The earmarked dollars are a major step in fulfilling the City’s goals of closing the affordable housing gap. Experts estimate that the City is lacking more than 7,500 affordable housing units, making housing in the City unattainable for many who work here and wish to live here.
“This is a giant step in the right direction. Housing is a critical part of solving homelessness and supporting economic growth. We’re putting our money where our mouths are and tackling it from all sides,” said RDA Chair Lisa Adams. “This January the Council identified housing as a top priority and at each Board Meeting the Board has emphasized the desire to use RDA funds for housing.”
Board Member Erin Mendenhall said, “This was born out of a desire to bridge the market gap in affordable housing development in other parts of the City beyond the west side. It has evolved into the largest single allocation of funds in the recent history of our City for growing housing Citywide.”
Board Members indicate that housing is critical to economic development and is absolutely essential for Salt Lake City to remain a great City of equal opportunity.
“The lack of affordable housing is a challenge not only for our City but the County and the entire state as well,” said Board Member Andrew Johnston.
The City Council will discuss and identify how the housing funds will be spent in the coming months.