It’s no secret that housing costs in Utah have increased significantly in recent years, particularly for communities along the Wasatch Front. The collapse of the housing market following the Great Recession all but stopped construction of new housing units, and although financial circumstances and the consumer demand for homes have recovered, the production shortfall remains. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that Utah is the third fastest growing state in the nation, putting even more pressure on the limited affordable housing supply. The construction input factors – land, labor, materials, and capital (finance) have all increased in cost, driving up the cost of new housing units. Faced with the daunting challenges of market forces, policy makers at the local, regional,and state levels must work collaboratively to ensure the availability of quality affordable housing units. To this end, ULCT recently updated our “Keys to Housing” guide to provide insight into which policy keys local policy makers hold and how they can use them.
Commission on Housing Affordability 2019 Draft Legislation Summary
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for housing policy. As a stakeholder, ULCT has participated in the Commission on Housing Affordability’s subgroups throughout the spring, summer, and fall. The commission’s recommendations have been taken into consideration and drafted into a bill file. Check out ULCT’s explanation of the legislation HERE.
ULCT 2018 Resolution on Growth and Housing.
At our 2018 Annual Convention, the Utah League of Cities and Towns unanimously endorsed a resolution confirming local leaders’ commitment to manage rapid growth and plan for the future. See the full resolution HERE.
House Bill 259 – Moderate Income Housing Amendments
During the 2018 General Session, the state legislature passed HB 259 – Moderate Income Housing Amendments. This bill requires cities with a population of more than 10,000 (and cities with a population of more than 5,000 in counties of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class) to adopt a plan for moderate income housing growth as a component of their general plan. ULCT is currently creating a guide for implementing moderating income housing plans in accordance with HB 259. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Meg Ryan.
Local Governments as Leaders in Housing Affordability
Since local leaders are major stakeholders in the they welfare of their communities, they have a strong, vested interest in preserving housing availability and affordability. Hence, The Utah League of Cities and Towns is an active member of the Housing Gap Coalition. The coalition unites Utah businesses, non-profits, and governments to identify sustainable policy solutions to bridge the housing gap.