December 16, 2022
Salt Lake City’s Department of Community & Neighborhoods (CAN) received the Agency of the Year award from the Utah Housing Coalition on Wednesday.
The Department has sought to take a community approach to housing, as encouraged by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the City Council. Accomplishments include: drafting land-use ordinances to make housing more affordable and built in more areas of the city; partnering with Utah Transit Authority to support increased transit services; funding tenant representation in court; allocating funding to create new affordable housing units; supporting the development of housing for those experiencing homelessness, including permanent supportive housing and a tiny home village; and managing housing rehab programs that help households make necessary improvements to their homes.
“CAN is doing the incredible work of not only creating more housing, but also working to preserve existing affordable housing, protect tenants, and provide wrap-around services for the members of our communities who need them,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “I value their ambitious vision for what Salt Lake City can be: a place that is more convenient and affordable, with improved access to transit, affordable out-of-school care, and communities that are amenity rich.”
Current projects the Department is working on include an anti-displacement strategy, Thriving In Place gentrification plan, updating a five-year housing plan, and creating an affordable housing zoning incentive.
“It takes a community of active and engaged residents, organizations, and leaders to bring about change in the housing market. While we are honored to be recognized, we know that we are not working in a vacuum,” said said Blake Thomas, Director of Department of Community & Neighborhoods. “There are many agencies that provide critical services to individuals facing housing and economic instability. We want to thank them for the difficult and vital work that they do each day. As we all work to improve the housing system for the residents of this great State, I trust that we can find solutions to the current crisis.”
CAN includes the Divisions of Planning, Building Services, Transportation, Real Estate, Housing Stability, and Youth and Family Services. It is led by Director Thomas and Deputy Directors Orion Goff and Tammy Hunsaker.Tags: affordable housing, Department of Communities and Neighborhoods, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City Council, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Thriving in Place, Utah Transit Authority