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Housing Advocates Push Affordability Agenda in Salt Lake City

With an estimated housing gap of 7,500 units and an apartment vacancy rate of 2 percent, Salt Lake City needs to do more to address an affordable housing shortage, advocates say.
November 16, 2016, 8am PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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The Salt Lake City City Council has earned the praise of housing advocates for dedicating $30 million in its most recent budget for homeless and affordable housing issues, however they say more needs to be done. Advocates say that minorities, minimum-wage workers and the disabled, among others, are being forced out of the city due to a lack of affordable housing options. Tony Semerad of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that in response, Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council are looking at a number of potential solutions.

Council members, he said, are eyeing quick action on funding a voucher-assistance program, potentially run through the city's Housing Authority and designed to help keep financially struggling residents in their homes.

The council may also approve incentives for developers with housing projects already under construction, offering them cash or land discounts to boost their affordable units.

Housing advocates are seeking a long term solution that involves taking an $80 million tax levy to voters with the goal of developing new housing for low wage workers.

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Published on Friday, November 11, 2016 in The Salt Lake Tribune
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