The Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation and Zions Bank announced today, the new Utah Housing Preservation Fund, aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage and affordability.
“We know just how challenging it is to build new affordable housing,” said Clark Ivory of the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation. “What we have to do is save our existing housing for those who need it most. The Utah Housing Preservation Fund represents a collaborative and innovative private-sector led effort to effectively address our state’s housing affordability challenges. We’re excited to move forward and engage with more partners in the community.”
In the Preservation Fund's first phase, the immediate objective is to preserve 100 of the state's most affordable housing units in the coming month with an initial $20 million initiative.
Partners share a common vision to grow the Preservation Fund's capacity to $100 million and beyond, eventually preserving 500-800 units. Units acquired through the Preservation Fund will be managed by the Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, which will also work with housing authorities, service providers, and other organizations statewide to secure stable and healthy housing for those most at risk for or experiencing homelessness.
To launch the Utah Housing Preservation Fund, Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation is under contract to acquire 54 units of deeply affordable housing from Housing Connect, Salt Lake County’s housing authority. This initial acquisition will not only preserve this affordable housing for existing residents, but also allow Housing Connect to reinvest the proceeds of the purchase to further stabilize their public housing portfolio and generate more than 100 additional units serving households earning 30% AMI or below.
“We’re thrilled to have the support and partnership of key community partners to help make housing more attainable for those in need,” said Marion Willey, executive director of Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation. “A preservation fund has been a missing link in our state’s affordable housing efforts, and it’s tremendous to see the private sector lead out on this critical initiative.”
The unique model of the Utah Housing Preservation Fund also brings a greater focus on serving the residents that call these units home. Targeted home renovations will be completed on properties purchased by the Preservation Fund to ensure that residents have a healthy and safe living situation. Additionally, residents will have the opportunity to participate in a voluntary survey designed to identify healthcare needs and encourage healthy behaviors.
"Intermountain Healthcare is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in our community,” said Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain Healthcare President and CEO. "Stable, healthy housing is a foundational part of wellness. The Housing Preservation Fund provides Intermountain Healthcare with a unique opportunity to address this critical social determinant of health and to help Utahns live their healthiest lives possible."
Utah is facing a severe housing shortage and affordability challenge that requires new and innovative approaches and partnerships to keep housing in reach for many Utah families. Rising housing prices affect every household in Utah and the overall housing shortage is causing instability for Utah families in communities statewide. This is at crisis levels for many low- and moderate-income families.
"Many factors contribute to Utah's housing crisis, including population growth and our strong economy," said Scott Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Zions Bank. "Investing in Utah's future requires an investment in housing, which is the key to preserving our enviable quality of life. The private sector must be involved and work with the public sector in a coordinated response. Zions Bank is actively engaged in ensuring the success of the Utah Housing Preservation Fund and we are committed to bringing people together to find innovative, sensible, and cost-effective solutions."
About Utah Housing Preservation Fund: The Utah Housing Preservation Fund a new effort housed at Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation to preserve the state’s most affordable housing units. Partners share a common vision to grow the Preservation Fund's capacity to $100 million and beyond, eventually preserving 500-800 units. Units acquired through the Preservation Fund will be managed by the Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, which will also work with housing authorities, service providers, and other organizations statewide to secure stable and healthy housing for those most at risk for or experiencing homelessness.