(KCPW News) The governor's office, the United Way of Salt Lake and the Utah Bankers Association have just launched two new initiatives aimed at helping struggling Utahns. The Utah Bankers Association has started a website that compiles all state affordable housing programs into one guide. President Howard Headlee says many people don't know about the programs that are already in place.
"As we started to brainstorm thoughts and ideas, several folks around the table said well, there is already a program to do that and there was just a lack of awareness and so the first step is to get people plugged into the programs that are out there. We are also working to expand some programs, but if you are looking at getting into a home you should look in this guide first to see if there isn't a program in your community that might help you."
Headlee notes that many people are having trouble qualifying for traditional mortgages, and the Home Sweet Affordable Home Web site provides information about down payment assistance programs and alternative lending programs county-by-county. It will be available as a pamphlet in banks as well.
And the United Way's new Neighbor to Neighbor Response Program focuses on helping overburdened emergency and crisis services throughout the state. United Way of Salt Lake President and CEO Deborah Bayle says the goal is to raise $5 million in cash and goods by December 15th.
"Even though we know that there is fear and uncertainty, asking people to reach out to their neighbors to help them over this crisis before it gets so bad in our community that we can't manage it. Our agencies that provide these services are seeing people that have never ever had to access services before."
Bayle says the Utah Food Bank is experiencing a 30 percent increase in demand and the Salt Lake Community Action Program is depleting monthly federal funding for rental assistance by the first day of the month. Click here to visit the affordable housing Web site or click here to visit the Neighbor to Neighbor Response Program Web site.