Hinckley Institute Radio Hour– This week on the program, we air a forum on the growing gap in affordable housing in Utah—what’s causing it, what it’s doing to our communities and how it may be addressed.
Last month, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute reported to Salt Lake City officials that growth in both the regional population and the economy had caused the demand for housing to far exceed the supply. Vacancy rates remain at unprecedentedly low levels within Salt Lake City and across the Wasatch Front in spite of the many apartment and home construction projects started over the last decade. In reaction, the average rent in Salt Lake and other high growth counties has increased by over half to nearly doubling in some areas since the year 2000, far outpacing the rise in the average Utahan’s income. Another institute report from earlier this year estimates that the gap in housing units falls at least 50,000 units short of the corresponding need.
Tackling the issue of the lack of affordable housing in Utah and the circumstances surrounding it are James Wood, Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at the Gardner Policy Institute; Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City; Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes; and Chris Parker, Executive Director of the GIV Development group. Moderating the discussion is Jennifer Napier-Pearce, Editor of the Salt Lake Tribune.