The Salt Lake Chamber and Utah business leaders officially launched the Housing Gap Coalition.
This business-led group is the first of its kind in the nation and aims to address Utah’s looming housing affordability problem before it’s too late.
“As a business community, we’ve had great success when we’ve worked together to address other issues like transportation and education,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “In a similar fashion, we’ve organized the Housing Gap Coalition to proactively address housing affordability before it becomes a crisis.”
The Housing Gap Coalition is in direct response to a new study, commissioned by the Salt Lake Chamber and conducted by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which shows the rate that housing prices are increasing in Utah will threaten our cost of living, economic prosperity and quality of life. Unchecked, average Utahns will be priced out of our housing market in 26 years. Already, Utah housing is more expensive than some of our top competitor cities in economic development.
“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 business community is determined to address the issue before it becomes a crisis. The Housing Gap Coalition is looking at opportunities to get in front of this issue, including addressing the way cities, towns and municipalities look at their housing policies.
The study shows that actionable steps can be taken like:
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.