Following the announcement that the Downtown shelter—The Road Home—will close as anticipated following the opening of the final resource center, Salt Lake City outlined the initial plans for a multi-agency and County-wide housing initiative. The short-term goal of the initiative will be to transition at least 67 individuals from existing shelters and homeless resource centers into long-term housing in the next four weeks.
The housing initiative, developed and to be implemented with a variety of stakeholders, will use $436,000 of funding pledged by the State via the Department of Workforce Services. The overall goal will be to identify a total of 123 housing units over the winter period.
Funding for the initiative will be used to provide new homeless emergency housing assistance, barrier elimination to maximize community voucher usage, hiring additional case managers, rental assistance, and a housing retention fund. Leaders will be proactively calling upon landlords in the region to work with stakeholders to help find creative solutions to closing the housing gap.
Already the initiative has identified 27 individuals within the shelter system who have access to housing vouchers but require gap financing or additional assistance to get into a housing unit. Stakeholders will also identify 20 individuals currently in shelter and pair them with a new housing case manager and provide them with rental assistance made available through the initiative. An additional 20 individuals with “low barrier” needs will also receive flexible funding for emergency housing assistance.
“Every stakeholder involved in the transition to a new model for homeless services is committed to ensuring that anyone who needs help will receive it,” said David Litvack, Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who will help oversee the effort. “We understand there is concern in the community about the welfare of those with the least among us—we share that concern—which is why we are working harder than ever to get people into permanent housing. In just the last few days, by working together, we’ve developed a plan and secured funding to help 67 people.”
Following Lt. Governor Spencer Cox’s call for community leaders to reach out to landlords throughout the region to assist with housing options, Mayor Biskupski will send a letter to the nearly 3,000 participants in Salt Lake City’s Good Landlord Program. The letter will ask them to consider putting forward any resources or creative solutions they may have.
“As a participant in the Good Landlord Program, you have already made a commitment to be part of a fair and equitable housing landscape in Salt Lake City,” the letter says in part. “We are asking you to work with us to find innovative solutions to help qualified people get the housing they need.”
Mayor Biskupski also noted that while the landlords were receiving the letter as participants in the City’s program, the scope of the housing initiative is County-wide and encourages landlords to consider resources outside of Salt Lake City as well. Interested landlords should call the Salt Lake City Housing Authority at 801-428-0569 if they have available units or additional questions.