Homelessness in SLC

Where are we now?

The City Council will soon be asking for comments on a proposed zoning amendment involving standards for homeless resource centers. Two new homeless resource centers are being planned for Salt Lake City. This amendment would affect the conditions, or regulations for any center in Salt Lake City. Learn about the proposed standards on the City’s online forum, Open City Hall.

During their March 22 meeting, the Planning Commission gave the proposal (here) a favorable recommendation. Some features of the proposal include:

  • Creating a definition outlining the purpose of a homeless resource center
  • Identifying homeless resource centers as a conditional use in areas that currently permit homeless shelters
  • Creating requirements that address potential negative impacts of homeless resource centers and homeless shelters

Once the Administration submits the recommended proposal to the Council, next steps of the process will be outlined including a public hearing. In the meantime, you can attend any upcoming 7:00 p.m. formal meeting to address the Council during the general comment period. View the meeting schedule here or call 801-535-7600.

For any questions, comments, and concerns please email homelessinfo@slcgov.com. Your input will be shared with the Mayor and Council Members.

Background

2016

Throughout 2016, the Council devoted significant time to discussing the best ways to serve Salt Lake City’s homeless population. The Council held several Council Meeting discussions and briefings with experts, Council Members attended the Mayor’s Homeless Services Site Selection Commissions meetings, engaged at length with constituents, and much more.

In September 2016, the Council and Mayor Biskupski released a joint homeless services plan that included the following:

  • Four new homeless resource centers, each with a maximum of 150 beds
  • Ramping up affordable housing strategies and funding, as the lack of affordable housing can lead to homelessness, especially for people at the lower end of the income spectrum
  • Mitigating negative impacts on the communities where the resource centers will be located.

The City announced the locations of the four Homeless Resource Centers in December 2016.

2017

On February 24, 2017, State, County, and Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office released a new proposal regarding the location of new homeless resource centers and the ongoing efforts to serve those most in need in our community.

This proposal resulted in a reduction in the number of new homeless resources center located in Salt Lake City from four to two, but increases the total number of beds at each location from the proposed 150 to 200.

Legislative leaders were prompted to act based on a funding gap on the four resource center model. During these meetings, City and County leaders were informed of a new legislative proposal, House Bill 441 (HB 441), which would continue the State’s funding commitment to build the new resource centers, provide a funding increase for ongoing operations, and fund treatment and diversion programs.

HB441 also includes language stating “A municipality may not adopt or enforce an ordinance or other regulation that prohibits a homeless shelter:

  1. from operating year-round if the homeless shelter began operation on or before January 1, 2016; or
  2. from being built if the site of the homeless shelter is approved by and receives funding through the Homeless Coordinating Committee, with the concurrence of the Housing and Community Development Division within the Department of Workforce Services, in accordance with the requirements of Section 35A-8-604.”

The draft ordinance considers the pending state legislation.

Additional Info

Visit the City’s Homeless Resource Centers webpage for more information, including the HRC site selection process document library. Additionally, visit the Council’s Homelessness Document Library for links to dozens of documents and videos relating to the process.

 

 

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