Affordable Housing | KUER 90.1

Affordable Housing

Photo of houses from the view of a street in Salt Lake City
Emily Means / KUER

Utah’s housing advocates are gearing up for a rise in evictions with the end of two federal pandemic assistance programs last week. 

Photo of balconies on a red brick apartment building
Jason Finn via iStock

Utah renters would need to make almost $20 an hour to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment or home. But the average renter in the state makes about $5 less than that.

Photo of a house in a neighborhood
Pablo Zarate / For KUER

Utah has provided nearly $134,000 in rental assistance to 112 people since mid-May, when the governor’s eviction freeze ended. 

Photo of double archs in red rock
Ken Lund via Flickr

Monday evening, June 29, 2020

A decorative road sign welcomes visitors to Moab.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

COVID-19 has hit workers in Moab especially hard, since many are unemployed in the winter and go back to work in the spring. 

Photo of a man in a suit standing at a podium in a room full of wooden desks
Sonja Hutson / KUER

A $35 million housing bill passed the Utah Senate 16-11 Wednesday, although its sponsor does not think it will be fully funded. 

Photo of Jacob Anderegg presenting a bill to a Utah Senate committee
Sonja Hutson / KUER

A $35 million affordable housing bill passed a state Senate committee Tuesday, with two Democrats voting for it and one Republican voting against it. 

Photo of large apartment building under construction in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Thursday evening, Jan. 30, 2020

Photo of running tap water.
Austin Kirk / Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020

Photo of a sign that reads "open house" on a front lawn.
Brian Albers / KUER

2020 marks the ninth year of Utah’s economic expansion. And with it comes a lot of benefits, like near record-low unemployment and more economic opportunity, according to James Wood, a senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. 

Photo of buildings in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Albers / KUER

In Utah, one in eight households is cost-burdened by their housing, meaning they pay more than 50% of their income towards it. That’s according to a 2018 report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Wages have not kept up with rising housing costs, and the state has an approximately 50,000 unit housing shortage, according to that same report. 

Snow covers a tree-lined road.
Austin Benjamin / Flickr

Tuesday evening, December 24, 2019

Photo of the Road Home Shelter.
Jon Reed / KUER

After the Road Home shelter closed last month, homeless advocates worried there wouldn’t be enough beds. Now, recent reports say some of the 700 available beds at three new resource centers in Salt Lake County are going empty.

Photo of a man cutting a ribbon in front of his house.
Jon Reed / KUER

For decades, Mario and Emma Melendez have lived and worked in Salt Lake City. Originally from the Mexican state of Tlaxcala, east of Mexico City, they came to Salt Lake by way of Phoenix, and have rented all their lives. But on Thursday, they moved into a house that, for the first time, they can call their own.

Illustration of Jackson Hole.
Renee Bright / KUER

JACKSON, Wyo. — In this corner of the Cowboy State, where homes start at $1 million, it may appear Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr made out like a bandit.

Illustration of valley construction.
Renee Bright / KUER

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

Renee Bright / KUER

MOAB — After a recent 12-hour nursing shift at the local hospital, Ryan Huels took stock of his tidy home just south of this high desert town.

Photo of utah housing.
iStock.com / Jason Finn

Developers are struggling to build enough houses and apartments to keep up with the population boom in the Mountain West, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

Photo of new home construction.
Brian Albers / KUER

For a third year in a row, efforts to fund the state’s affordable housing dearth once again fell short during the 2019 legislative session, as lawmakers struggle to tackle a 40,000-unit shortage.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Salt Lake City has invested $2 million into two housing projects in the city’s east and west sides.

One project will create 75 permanent supportive housing units for people who are transitioning out of homelessness. It is the first housing development of its kind in a decade, the city said.

Photo of construction.
Brian Albers / KUER

Home sales in the American West tumbled to a three-year low in December, as higher interest rates and rising home prices gave buyers pause, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

A new report out of Idaho shows the number of children without a permanent roof over their heads is increasing.  This trend is mirrored across much of the Mountain West. 

Residential construction in Utah mountains.
iStock.com / aelawrence

Utah business leaders are hopeful about a new trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico.

This summer, the housing market was expected to be extremely competitive, with lots of buyers vying for a limited number of homes. But it turns out, the housing market, including in our region, may finally be cooling down.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, says home prices have been rising too fast -- much faster than people’s incomes.

Kelsie Moore/KUER

Coming soon to the Salt Lake real estate market: 83 affordable studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, like new, used once or twice, imported from China. Previous tenant: dry goods.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams vetoed on Friday the County Council’s recent vote to approve a controversial housing development in the southwest corner of the valley.

iStock.com/sequential5

On the next More to Say, we’re picking up on a conversation we started last week about affordable housing in Utah.  This is part of KUER’s project the Hive Mind — where you ask our reporters questions and they try to find the answers. This time it’s all about tiny homes. Maybe you’ve seen them on Instagram, those beautifully apportioned, incredibly small houses. Lots of people are obsessed with the idea, and some people actually live in them. But things get complicated for one couple when a nosy neighbor spots their tiny home in a friend’s backyard.

Link to original story: http://kuer.org/post/hive-mind-are-tiny-houses-feasible-option-increase-affordable-housing

More about The Hive Mind: http://kuer.org/term/hive-mind#stream/0

KUER

It’s no secret that rent around Salt Lake City is really high. And if you drive around downtown, you’ll see tons of new apartment complexes under construction. But the thing is, most Utahns can’t afford to live in them. At least, not according to the common definition of affordable housing: about 30 percent of your yearly income. There’s a staggering need for cheaper apartments around the state, but hardly any incentives to build them. Because those pricey places — they’re not sitting empty.

file photo

Shoppers in Salt Lake City will pay an extra half-penny per dollar in sales tax on non-food purchases beginning in October. Despite some concerns, the city council approved the tax hike Tuesday night.

BRIANAJACKSON VIA WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

A new study out of the University of Utah shows incomes are not keeping up with rising housing costs in Utah. Researchers have known this for some time, but now they have some data behind it.

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