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Utah business leaders come together to protect affordable housing

Posted at 7:25 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 21:25:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah business leaders officially announced the formation of the Housing Gap Coalition, aimed at addressing Utah’s growing housing affordability problem.

The Housing Gap Coalition is a group led by local businesses and is the first of its kind in the nation.

The coalition is a direct response to a new study, which showed that the price of housing is growing too quickly in Utah, and is threatening the quality of life and cost of living of residents.

“Unchecked, average Utahns will be priced out of our housing market in 26 years,” a press release stated. “Already, Utah housing is more expensive than some of our top competitor cities in economic development.”

The housing coalition stated it is looking for different options to keep housing more affordable, including addressing the way cities towns and municipalities look at their housing policies.

“Part of our growth and prosperity in this state is due to the fact that so many Utahns want to stay here, close to their families and in the communities they love,” said Steve Starks, president of the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, vice chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors and chair of the Housing Gap Coalition. “The way things are going, that simply won’t be possible for many. They’ll be priced out. Housing affordability is the greatest unaddressed threat to our economic prosperity in Utah.”

The housing coalition said the following steps can be taken to help curb rising housing costs:

  • Adopting zoning that allows for a variety of housing types and prices, meeting the needs of Utahns at all stages of life.
  • Improving cost-prohibitive impact and permit fees.
  • Supporting multi-use land development