Today, the Salt Lake City Council took action on two proposals presented by the Administration to address the affordable housing crisis in Salt Lake City. The proposals specifically dealt with approximately $21 million-dollars of Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funding the RDA Board set aside to deal with affordable housing in the City.
The proposal prioritizes $10 million-dollars of funding to be administered by the RDA for a competitive fund available to developers and community groups interested in building affordable housing projects. $3 million-dollars will also be directed to the City’s Housing Trust Fund, administered by the City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Division, to be used for general purposes and a Renovation Pilot Program, to incentivize owners to improve existing affordable housing options. The proposal also sets aside funding for specific projects, including the Barnes Bank Exchange project, and the redevelopment of the Capitol Motel.
“I am thrilled we are moving forward on funding innovative initiatives to address the affordable housing crisis in Salt Lake City, which align with our proposed housing plan, Growing SLC” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski on the proposal. “Today’s move demonstrates that both the City Council and I are in agreement that now is the time to aggressively move to bring units online quickly. This is the product of almost a year of hard work, dialogue, and collaboration to find a workable solution.”
Earlier this year, the Biskupski Administration provided the City Council with two proposals for the use of set aside funding, including one option to fund specific RDA projects and one option utilizing the City’s existing Housing Trust Fund. In working through the proposals, the Council created the $10 million-dollar RDA fund, while also funding aspects of the Housing Trust Fund option. The Mayor noted that the decision preserved the opportunity to fund projects which could create deeply affordable housing prior to the 2019 closure of the downtown shelter.
“My priority has been, and continues to be, on ensuring we have the necessary housing options available to make the new homeless resource center model a success,” said Mayor Biskupski. “When we focus on the face of this crisis, including those moving from homelessness and those just struggling to get by in our City, we are able to achieve great things.”
The proposal would give the RDA a greater role in affordable housing initiatives in the City, while enhancing the City’s existing funding options. The RDA is a division of the Department of Economic Development, which was created by the Mayor in 2016 to help streamline economic activity in the City.
“The vitality of the City is dependent on the principle of equity, from job to housing opportunities. Salt Lake City thrives when our residents have access to affordable housing that allows them to live where they work and enjoy the amenities where they call home,” said Lara Fritts, Director of the Department of Economic Development and CEO of the RDA. “The City’s economic development efforts, and the work being done by our team and Mayor, are enhanced by the Council’s decision today.”
The Council also asked the Administration to explore options for an incentivized inclusionary zoning policy. In November, HAND launched a public engagement survey regarding inclusionary zoning in the City. The survey is available at www.slcgov.com/hand.