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Man looks at construction site with mountains.
Jon Reed / KUER

LEHI — It’s become a familiar sight in many parts of Utah: Cranes. Bulldozers. Bright orange vests. 

That’s because it’s boomtime in the construction industry. With 24,241 housing permits issued across the state in 2018 — the most in 12 years — the state led the nation in homebuilding.

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.

A photo of Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, presenting the Wasatch Choice 2050 Vision plan at a convention on Thursday in Salt Lake City.
Jon Reed / KUER

Growth is coming to the Wasatch Front. 

That was the refrain at Planners’ Day, part of the Utah League of Cities and Towns annual three-day convention in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday. 

A few months ago, John Parker retired and moved into a salmon-colored log house on a mountain called Tungsten in unincorporated Boulder County.

"Just to get a little piece of heaven, get away from the madding crowd," he says.

Inside, a wood-fired stove fills the house with heat and a low hum. Outside, the snow feels like thick, gritty icing. The wind barrels up a slope, gathering snow into a glittery stream. When the glitter stream meets the house, it curves around and hugs it, piling up around the back steps. It does not feel like the time to think about wildfires. But if that same wind was carrying embers instead of snow, those would follow the same path and instead of glittering, that pile by the back door would be glowing.

Photo of Georgia Apartments.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Salt Lake City prosecutors have filed 15 misdemeanor charges against Carol Lunt, the owner and landlord of the Georgia Apartments building, which was deemed unsafe for habitation by the city’s fire marshal this week.

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/Diane Labombarbe

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said he sees a compromise on the horizon for a controversial housing development in the southwest corner of the valley that has become a political campaign issue.

KUER

Last month, KUER asked what questions our audience has about affordable housing in Utah. In the Hive Mind, listeners ask questions about different topics and KUER reporters try to answer them. This week: Can tiny homes ease the affordable housing crisis?

Whittney Evans/KUER

The Salt Lake City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency decided where to put $17.6 million dollars that was set aside for affordable housing.

Utahns Have More Money And They're Ready To Spend It

Oct 26, 2017

Utahans are spending more money, because they have more money. The Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis looked at primary expenses in the 50 states, what we’re buying, and how much it costs consumers. Results show Utah spent 6.2 percent more in the last year than the previous one.

Photo courtesy of Google Street View @2017 Google

Utah County is a hot real estate market for developers. But affordable housing is dwindling and federally-funded vouchers aren’t keeping up with rising rents.

Whittney Evans

All Families living at The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City will move out of the facility by July if all goes as planned. Utah lawmakers on Tuesday approved that recommendation and some additional funding for The Road Home’s Midvale family shelter.

Julia Ritchey, KUER

In 2016, Salt Lake area builders completed close to 3,600 new units along the Wasatch Front, a number far short of what the Salt Lake Home Builders Association say the market could’ve sustained.

Lee Hale

The Utah House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would ban cities from rewarding landlords who refuse to rent to people newly released from prison or jail.

BRIANAJACKSON VIA WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

A new bill  at the Utah Legislature is aimed at helping ex-cons find housing and stay out of jail. It would get rid of city-sponsored incentives landlords sometimes get for refusing to rent to people who have a criminal history.

Kasey O'Killion


Salt Lake’s home sales are once again trending upward, but a tightening supply is worrying some realtors.

iStockphoto.com- maunger

Salt Lake City is launching a new program to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities tackle home repairs.


Utah has increased the number of refugees it accepts in recent years, and that's intensifying challenges among local nonprofits to provide new residents with housing and health care.

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency is set to approve $21 million for homeless projects and affordable housing, but advocates are asking if the mayor is on board.

BRIANAJACKSON VIA WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

The Salt Lake City Council acting as the Redevelopment Agency voted Tuesday to set aside as much as $21 million for affordable housing in the city. They also found money to purchase sites for the new homeless shelters.

Lee Hale

 

There aren’t many empty apartments in Salt Lake Valley these days. According to a report released earlier this month the vacancy rate is at 2.9%—which means more than 97% of apartments in Salt Lake County are occupied.

BrianAJackson via www.istockphoto.com

Salt Lake City maintains a significant affordable housing shortage. While incomes have risen overall, they’re not keeping up with the cost of living.

Study Finds Salt Lake City Lacks Affordable Housing

Aug 18, 2016
ISTOCKPHOTO.COM- ChrisBoswell

A new report by the Downtown Salt Lake City Alliance finds the city lacks affordable housing for young and low-income workers. 

ESTHER RATY / KUER

The Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development Division will be opening up a series of energy-efficient, affordable single-family homes throughout the valley. 

Nan Palmero via Creative Commons

A local non-profit that works to revitalize neighborhoods and help families purchase homes says Salt Lake City has too many low-income housing units on the city’s west side.  

Brian Grimmett/KUER

Lawmakers in the Utah House Tuesday debated whether or not cities should be able to keep landlords from renting to people with criminal records. Some say such control could cut down on crime, but Democrats want to see more housing opportunities for those exiting prison.

Whittney Evans

A new treatment and housing facility for veterans is nearing completion in downtown Salt Lake City. City officials highlighted the project on Monday as an example of the progress being made on Mayor Ralph Becker’s 5,000 Doors campaign.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City is poised to sell the old public safety building to a developer willing to create a mix of housing and commercial space. They also want to preserve the buildings historic significance. 

Whittney Evans

Officials say chronic homelessness is down 91 percent in Utah since the state implemented a "housing first" model a decade ago.

Bob Massey via Flickr

Help is on the way for aspiring homebuyers in Salt Lake City. Wells Fargo is partnering with non-profit NeighborWorks Salt Lake to provide moderate to low-income families with money for a down-payment and closing costs on a new home.

Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Lift program is providing $15,000 grants to 224 qualified home-buyers in Salt Lake City. The grants are for legal residents who do not currently own a home.

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