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Politics & Government

Advocates want the Utah Legislature to fully fund affordable housing requests

Rev. Steve Klemz speaks at a press conference hosted by the Utah Housing Coalition. The group advocated for more funding for affordable housing.
Sudha Reynolds
/
KUER
Rev. Steve Klemz speaks at a press conference hosted by the Utah Housing Coalition. The group advocated for more funding for affordable housing.

Community advocates called on Utah lawmakers Tuesday to put more money toward addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis.

Gov. Spencer Cox requested $228 million to help build affordable housing and units to support people experiencing homelessness.

But the Legislature’s budget committee only recommended $55 million for deeply affordable housing as well as $15 million to preserve existing affordable housing.

Rev. Steve Klemz, a retired Salt Lake City-based pastor, said choosing not to fully fund the request is, essentially, immoral.

“To slash proposed funds for those who are in need of deeply affordable housing while providing tax cuts to the wealthiest among us rips at the very moral fabric of our state's hope to live in dignity and equity,” Klemz said.

The Legislature prioritized a nearly $200 million income tax cut this session, which also included tax credits intended to benefit low-income individuals.

Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, defended the Legislature’s actions. He also said it’s hard to please everyone.

“We hear from our constituents, and our constituents want less taxes,” Adams said. “So we're responding to both sets of constituencies: those who want us to spend more and those that want us to spend less. We think we balanced it pretty well.”

Adams said this year, he believes the Legislature has funded what’s needed in regards to affordable housing.

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